After heartbreaking dismissal of young Riyan Parag, courtesy a hit-wicket, Jofra Archer helped Rajasthan Royals (RR) cross the line at Eden Gardens in the 43rd match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019, leaving Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) winless in six matches. That's six defeats on the bounce.
KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik hit an unbeaten 97 off 50 balls to help his side to a good total of 175/6, but it proved little too little as 17-year-old Parag held the RR innings together before Archer's match-winning blitz.
11:50 PM IST: Prasidh Krishna on with the last over. A wild swing and Jofra Archer gets a four off the first ball, to third man. Now, five from five. Then a six over long-off to finish off. Rajasthan Royals win by three wickets with four balls to spare.
11:48 PM IST: Andre Russell with the penultimate over. Three singles, then Riyan Parag hits the fourth ball for a six over long-on. Then, what a dismissal. Hit-wicket. A short ball, and Parag hits the wicket while going for a swing. He made 47 off 31. FoW-167/7 (18.5 Over). Jaydev Unadkat is the new man. Nine needed from seven. No run taken, and nine runs from the over. RR-167/7. They need nine from six balls.
11:41 PM IST: Prasidh Krishna on with his third over. Three singles and Riyan Parag gets a fortuitous four, courtesy an inside edge. A dot and a huge six over fine leg. 132 runs from the over. RR-158/6 after 18 overs. They need 18 from 12 balls.
11:36 PM IST: Sunil Narine returns for his fourth over. Jofra Archer hits the first ball for a six, first against Narine tonight. Riyan Parag hits the fourth ball for a four. 15 runs from the over. Narine's figures: 2/25. RR-145/6 after 17 overs. They need 31 from 18 balls.
11:32 PM IST: Prasidh Krishna returns for his second over and KKR have another wicket. He had Shreyas Gopal (18 off 9) caught at long-off by Shubman Gill. FoW-123/6 (15.2 Over). New man Jofra Archer hits the fifth ball for a four. Eight runs from the over. RR-130/6 after 16 overs. They need another 46 runs from 24 balls.
11:23 PM IST: Part-timer Nitish Rana on. Shreyas Gopal hits the last three deliveries for fours. 13 runs from the over. RR-122/5 after 15 overs. They need another 54 from 30 balls. Time out.
11:19 PM IST: Andre Russell returns for his second over. Riyan Parag hits the third ball for a four, past short fine leg. Then the youngster gets hit on the helmet. Concerns for everyone. A brief stoppage to check the well-being of the 17-year-old. A single off the next ball and Shreyas Gopal hits the last ball for a four. 10 runs from the over. RR-109/5 after 14 overs. They need 67 runs from 36 balls.
11:12 PM IST: Another brilliant over from Piyush Chawla. Three runs and a wicket, that of Stuart Binny. Caught at deep by Rinku Singh. FoW-98/5 (12.3 Over). Binny made 11 off 11. Shreyas Gopal is the new man. RR-99/5 after 13 runs. Chawla's figures: 3/20.
11:07 PM IST: Carlos Brathwaite returns for his second over. 11 runs from it -- three wides, two singles, a double a four. Riyan Parag hits the last ball for a four, over the wicket-keeper's head. RR-96/4 after 12 runs.
11:01 PM IST: Second wicket for Piyush Chawla. He had Ben Stokes caught at long-on boundary by Andre Russell, who balances just inside the rope. Stuart Binny is the new man. A single off the next ball, then Binny hits the fifth ball for a huge six over long-on. Seven runs from the over. RR-85/4 after 11 overs. They need 91 runs from 54 balls.
10:56 PM IST: Yarra Prithviraj on with his second over and 11 runs from it. Ben Stokes hits the third ball for a four to mid-off boundary, then Riyan Parag whips the last for a four. RR-78/3 after 10 overs.
10:49 PM IST: Another brilliant over from Piyush Chawla. Just two singles. And lots of play and miss. RR-67/3 after nine overs.
10:44 PM IST: Sunil Narine strikes again. Bowled Steven Smith (2 off 6) with a beauty. FoW-63/3 (7.2 Over). Riyan Parag is the new man. And Narine drops Parag off his own bowling. Two runs and a wicket from the over. RR-65/3 after eight overs. They need 11 runs from 72 balls.
10:40 PM IST: Piyush Chawla strikes off with the third ball. Cleans up Sanju Samson's wickets. FoW-57/2 (6.3 Over). Samson made 22 off 15. Ben Stokes is the new man. Eight runs from the over. RR-63/2 after seven overs. They need 113 runs from 78 balls.
10:34 PM IST: Sunil Narine continues with his second over and traps Anjikya Rahane in front with the second ball. Rahane made 34 off 21. Three balls later, KKR have a good shout for an LBW against Steve Smith. Inside edge, as the replays show. And it saves RR captain. Two runs and a wicket. RR-55/1 after six overs. They need 121 from 84 balls.
10:28 PM IST: Yarra Prithviraj on and leaks 17 runs, including a six and two fours, all hit by Ajinkya Rahane. RR-53 after five overs.
10:22 PM IST: Sunil Narine gets his first over. Six runs from it -- four single and a double. RR-36/0 after four overs.
10:19 PM IST: Andre Russell on with the third over. A single then Ajinkya Rahane times to perfection to beat the cover for a four. A dot then a single. Sanju Samson hits the fifth ball for a mighty six, straight down the ground. A short ball from Russell, and a single. 13 runs from the over. RR-30/0 after three overs. They need 146 more runs.
10:14 PM IST: Prasidh Krishna shares the new ball with Carlos Brathwaite. A dot ball, then Ajinkya Rahane hits the second ball for a four. A single, then Sanju Samson hits a six, straight down th ground. A dot, and a single to end the over. 12 runs from it. RR-17/0 after two overs. They need 159 runs more.
10:10 PM IST: Carlos Brathwaite opens the proceedings. Three dot balls to Ajinkya Rahane. A four, lofted over cover, to open the scoring. Five runs from the over. RR-5/0.
9:51 PM IST: Jaydev Unadkat on with the last over. Rinku Singh takes a single off the first ball. Dinesh Karthik hits the next ball for a four, then a six over long-on as Karthik reaches his highest IPL score. 90 off 47. No run taken after playing it to deep. A six to long on to move to 96. He needs a boundary. A single off the last ball. 18 runs from the over. Unadkat's figures: 1/50. Karthik unbeaten on 97 off 50. KKR-175/6.
9:44 PM IST: Jofra Archer on with the penultimate over. A single as Dinesh Karthik plays the first ball to fine leg. Rinku Singh rotates for a single. Another single to short third man. Stand an deliver from Karthik. Fifth ball sails over extra cover boundary, then another six, this time over fine leg. 16 runs from the over, and Archer's figures: 0/28. KKR-157/6
9:39 PM IST: Jaydev Unadkat on with his third over. Carlos Brathwaite (5 off 3) hits the first ball for a four, then holes out at long-off. Catch taken by Ajinkya Rahane. FoW-131/6 (17.2 Over). Rinku Singh is the new man. Dinesh Karthik hits the next ball for a four to third man.A huge mixed up but nothing untoward happened. A wide, then Rahane goes for a flying catch. And the ball spills over for a four. Stunning effort. And the former captain hurts himself in the process. A single and 14 runs from the over. KKR-141/6 after 18 overs.
9:32 PM IST: A six from free-hit to end the over. 12 runs from the over. Oshane Thomas's figures: 32/1. KKR-127/5 after 17 overs.
9:28 PM IST: Oshane Thomas on with his third over. A single to Andre Russell off the first ball and the Jamaican is struggling. A single and Dinesh Karthik reaches his fifty, 18th in the IPL. Andre Russel plays a skier and he gets another life. This time, sub fielder Prashant Chopra the culprit. A single and Russell gets injury time out. And third time lucky for the Royals. Caught by Riyan Parag. FoW-119/5 (16.5 Over). Russell made 14 off 14.
9:21 PM IST: Jaydev Unadkat on with his second over, and a six to start as Andre Russell pockets the ball into the crowd in the deep mid-wicket stand. And the camera's looking for Stuart Binny. A dot then a single. Dinesh Karthik hits the fourth ball for a six, over long leg boundary. A tight single and an easy one. 15 runs from the over. KKR-115 after 16 overs. Karthik is unbeaten on 49 off 34 balls.
9:15 PM IST: Jofra Archer returns for his third over. A terrible day for Stuart Binny.He drops Andre Russell at backward square leg. Four runs from the over. KKR-100/4 after 15 overs.
9:08 PM IST: Varun Aaron with his last over. His figures so far, 2/10 including a maiden. A dot ball to Dinesh Karthik, then a six over third man. A brilliant stop from Sanju Samson to deny a certain four to Karthik. Aaron, coming in for the last ball of his spell, pulls up. But no series. A four to end the over. 10 runs from it. KKR-96/4 after 14 overs. Karthik unbeaten on 41 off 30. Time out.
9:02 PM IST: Oshane Thomas returns for his third over. Two singles then a leg bye, followed by a dot to Andre Russell. Swing and miss. Two more singles and five runs from the over. KKR-86/4 after 13 overs.
8:58 PM IST: Spectacular shot from Dinesh Karthik. Glance and six. A dot and run out off the next ball while going for a second. A good throw from Varun Aaron to the non-striker's end. Narine out (11 off 8). FoW-80/4 (11.3 Over). And Dinesh Karthik didn't make the ground for the first run. Andre Russell is the new man. Seven runs from Jofra Archer's second over. KKR-81/4 after 12 overs.
8:51 PM IST: A much needed six to start the over. Dinesh Karthik pulls the first ball for maximum, then guides the second behind square for a four. Then, Stuart Binny misfields at long-on to let the third ball for a four. Another four, pick up and pull. Suddenly Eden Gardens crowd is alive. A single, for a change. Sunil Narine hits the last ball for a four as Shreyas Gopal concedes 25 from his third over. KKR-74/3 after 11 overs.
8:48 PM IST: Jaydev Unadkat into the attack. A single off the first ball to Dinesh Karthik. Sunil Narine rotates the strike with a single off the next ball. A swinging delivery beats Karthik. A single, then a dot as the ball hits Narine's helmet. Another bouncer and three singles from the over. KKR-49/3 after 10 overs.
8:42 PM IST: Sunil Narine in the middle. Not included in the West Indies World Cup squad, but still a force to reckon with. And he finds a lucky four, beating the diving first slip fielder. Four runs from the over. KKR-46/3 after nine overs.
8:38 PM IST: Shreyas Gopal on with his second over and gets the wicket of Nitish Rana. Caught at backward point by Varun Aaron. FoW-42/3 (8.2 Over). Rana made 21 off 26. Time out.
8:36 PM IST: Riyan Parag gets his first over. Nitish Rana hits the first ball for a four, to backward point. But the youngster concedes only seven runs from the over. KKR-42/2 after eight overs.
8:33 PM IST: Steve Smith introduces Shreyas Iyer into the attack. Nitish Rana takes a single off the third ball, then a leg bye as the Royals shout for an LBW. Just three runs from the over. KKR-35/2 after seven overs.
8:29 PM IST: Jofra Archer into the attack. Nitish Rana takes a single off the third ball, then Dinesh Karthik blocked the remaining deliveries. Just a single from the over. KKR-32/2 after six overs.
8:24 PM IST: Varun Aaron on with his third over. A single to Nitish Rana off the first ball, then a double to Shubman Gill. A four off the fourth ball. Aaron produces a beauty of a delivery which cuts back just enough to beat the defence. And Gill is bowled. Seven runs from the over. KKR-31/2 after five overs.
8:19 PM IST: Oshane Thomas continues with his second over. Shubman Gill hits the first ball for a four behind backward point, then Nitish Rana manages the find the boundary off the fifth ball. 10 runs from the over. KKR-24/1 after four overs.
8:16 PM IST: Fiery spell from Varun Aaron. Three runs from his second over. KKR-14/1 after three overs.
8:11 PM IST: Oshane Thomas shares the new ball with Varun Aaron. A single off the first ball, then Nitish Rana hits the third ball for a four. Two more singles and seven runs from the over. KKR-11/1 after two overs.
8:05 PM IST: Varun Aaron, playing in his second IPL match of the season, gets the big wicket of Chris Lynn in his first over. The Aussie plays the third ball on to the stumps. Nitish Rana is the new man. But the fifth ball goes for four leg byes. KKR-4/1.
7:40 PM IST: Playing XIs -
Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Piyush Chawla, Yarra Prithviraj, Prasidh Krishna
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (wk), Steven Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Oshane Thomas, Varun Aaron
7:35 PM IST: Rajasthan Royals have won the toss and opted to field.
KKR have been heavily dependent on Andre Russell, and Karthik has copped criticism for not promoting the big-hitting West Indian up the batting order.
Chosen ahead of the young Rishabh Pant in the World Cup squad in a debatable decision, the Tamil Nadu veteran, who was KKR's leading run-getter last season, is struggling for runs with an average of 16.71 from nine outings.
Facing a must-win situation ahead of the remaining four matches, head coach Jacques Kallis has backed the under-fire skipper to script a 2014-like turnaround when they won their second title with nine wins in a row.
The famed trio of Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla have accounted for just 16 wickets from 10 matches, summing up their misery.
Clinging to one spot below KKR at seventh in the eight-team standings, Rajasthan Royals' fate too hangs by the thread. They showed urgency with Steve Smith replacing Ajinkya Rahane as the captain ahead of their clash against Mumbai Indians.
The move has clicked and RR were able to bring their campaign back on track beating Mumbai. Rahane, too, roared back to form with an elegant century, albeit in a losing cause, against Delhi Capitals in their last match.