The Ajinkya Rahane-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) succumbed to a disappointing 8-wicket defeat against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Sunday at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. The KKR bowlers delivered a phenomenal combined effort to restrict the opposition under a below-par first innings total. Steven Smith did play a fine unbeaten half-century knock, but he failed to power his team towards a fighting total.
However, in the second innings, it was the Chris Lynn-Sunil Narine show which absolutely stole the show. The KKR opening pair decimated the RR bowlers to the core, composing a belligerent partnership for the first wicket which in turn brought the result towards a mere formality. Robin Uthappa finished off the proceedings with an entertaining cameo knock to help KKR pick up its fourth win of the tournament.
We had runs on the board
After winning the toss and opting to field first, KKR new ball bowler Prasidh Krishna started off the proceedings with a beautiful delivery to send back RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane back in the hut in just the second over of the innings. After the skipper’s dismissal, the duo of Jos Buttler and Steven Smith combined together to resurrect the RR innings. The pair did stitch a fine partnership of 72 runs, but the runs were coming at a very slow rate and as a result, RR’s innings seemed to be going nowhere.
Harry Gurney bowled a fantastic spell on debut during the middle-overs stage to keep the hosts under the radar. However, Smith who initially struggled to rotate the strike then came back strongly to register his first fifty of the season. He compiled an excellent unbeaten knock of 73 runs off 59 balls which consisted of 7 fours and 1 six. But even with Smith’s half-century innings, RR managed to post a total of only 139 runs which surely looked below-par on that Jaipur wicket.
“I think on this wicket 150-160 would have been good. We had runs on the board and a slower wicket. But, I don’t think we bowled to our plans. Lots of learning from this game though. Such things happen in cricket, we need to learn from our mistakes,” said RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane during the post-match presentation press conference.
We should focus on playing good cricket
Rahane mentioned that his team will have to focus on playing some really good cricket and improve in the upcoming games of the tournament. Right arm leg-spinner Sudhesan Midhun made his debut for the Royals in the yesterday’s game. The RR skipper noted that the wicket was quite slow and thus, they decided to give Sudhesan a chance to prove his worth.
“I think we should focus on playing good cricket and improve in the upcoming games. The wicket was going to be slow and we knew that, so we thought it was the right time to give him (Sudhesan Midhun) a game today,” the RR skipper concluded.