Abu Dhabi: The clinched an exciting win in a thrilling Super Over finish based on the total number of boundaries and sixes hit during their Indian Premier League (IPL) match against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here Tuesday.
After regulation period saw both the teams tied at 152 runs, the Royals’ batsmen Shane Watson and Steven Smith smartly managed 11 for no loss while chasing Knight Riders’ 11/2 in the Super Over, tying the match once again but winning overall as a result of clearing the fence 19 times to that of Knight Riders’ 15. This is the first Super Over finish of the seventh edition of the IPL.
At the start the Royals suffered an early blow, losing opener Karun Nair (1) in the third over after electing to bat. However, Ajinkya Rahane took charge and led with his brilliant knock of 72 off 59 deliveries, bringing up his second half-century of this edition of the IPL.
He was well supported by wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson (20) and captain Watson (33). Together they took the team well past the 100-run mark.
Watson departed after scoring a well knitted knock in 24 balls which included five boundaries.
Later Rahane upped the ante to take the team to a challenging total of 152/5 from their 20 overs, striking six fours and a six. He was aided by Australian all-rounder Smith, who made a short cameo of an unbeaten 19 off 11 deliveries at the end.
Kolkata pacer Vinay Kumar picked up two wickets while Morne Morkel and Shakib Al Hasan clinched one each.
In reply, Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir finally got off to a decent start after failing in the last four innings which read 0, 0, 0 and 1.
Though Gambhir kept going, he kept losing partners at regular intervals as wicketkeeper-batsman Manvinder Bisla (3), Jacques Kallis (13) and Manish Pandey (19) got out before Gambhir fell. The left hander was patient with his innings and took his time to score a 44-ball 45 which included four boundaries.
After his skipper was got out, Suryakumar Yadav took the mantle upon him and took on the Royals’ bowlers.
With 16 required off the last two overs, Australia’s Watson handed the ball compatriot James Faulkner, who bowled an amazing over to take three wickets and gave only four runs on his 24th birthday. Man of the match Faulkner got Yadav (31) before bowling out Robin Uthappa and Vinay for a duck each.
Kane Richardson’s wayward bowling allowed Bangladeshi all-rounder Al Hasan to score 11 runs which tied the match and pushed the clash into the Super Over.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 152/5 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 72, Shane Watson 33, Sanju Samson 20; Vinay Kumar 2/30, Shakib Al Hasan 1/23, Morne Morkel 1/40) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (Gautam Gambhir 45, Suryakumar Yadav 31, Shakib Al Hasan 29 not out; James Faulkner 3/11, Pravin Tambe 2/31, Kane Richardson 1/28) on the basis on more boundaries after the Super Over was also tied.