Chahal and Jaiswal power Rajasthan Royals to an astounding nine-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders

Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed 98* off 47 against KKR

Rajasthan Royals recorded a very crucial win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the 56th match of the Indian Premier League 2023 on Thursday. Yuzvendra Chahal took four wickets to restrict the Knight Riders to just 149/8 while bowling first. Then youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed 98* pff just 47 to chase the target in just 13.1 overs.

Rajasthan and Kolkata entered this game with five wins from 11 games and from outside the top four in the points table. Kolkata were favorites to bag the two points after winning three of their last four games but the resurgent Royals displayed a dominant all-round performance to make it a one-sided affair and emerged with two big points.

Sanju Samson won the toss and elected to bowl first at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. The star Kiwi pacer Trent Boult returned to the playing eleven after missing the Royals’ last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Kolkata recalled spin all-rounder Anukul Roy in Vaibhav Arora’s place in the only change.

Jason Roy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz struggled to produce a promising start for the hosts as the returning Boult struck early. Boult gave the Royals an opening in the third over with Jason’s big wicket with Shimron Hetmyer taking a brilliant catch at the boundary lines. Boult then created early pressure on Kolkata with Gurbaz’s wicket in the fifth over as Sandeep Sharma took a diving stunner at mid-off.

But skipper Nitish Rana and Venkatesh Iyer stabilized the KKR’s innings with an impressive 48-run stand for the third wicket. Both the batters kept the scoreboard moving but Rajasthan’s spinners were impressive to deny the opponents big shots. Venkatesh paced up the inning with two back-to-back sixes off Ravichandran Ashwin as KKR scorched much-needed 18 runs from the tenth over. 

Yuzvendra Chahal took four wickets against KKR

Rana also tried to shift the gear in the next over but lost his wicket while attempting a big shot over deep backward square off Yuzvendra Chahal’s delivery. KM Asif dismissed Andre Russell in the 14th over who scored just 10 off 10 to continue his inconsistent form this season. 

Meanwhile, Venkatesh completed his second fifty this season to keep the fight on from one end. He top-scored with 57 off 42 with the help of two fours and four sixes as Kolkata seemed on track for a good total. But Chahal struck late with three more wickets to restrict the hosts to 149/8 and finished with another impressive 4/25 spell. 

Chasing 150 runs, RR’s leading run-scorer this season Yashasvi Jaiswal produced a memorable knock. He opened the innings with two back-to-back sixes off Nitish Rana and continued a carnage with three fours to kill the chase in the very first over. Rajasthan lost star English batter Jos Buttler in a run-out disaster in the next over but the Royals quickly swept it under the rug with the southpaw tearing apart every KKR bowler at Eden Gardens.

He smashed a four and six after Buttler’s dismissal to thwart off a little pressure created. He then took on Shardul Thakur in the next over with three back-to-back fours as Rajasthan rach 50-run mark in just 16 balls. Samson started with a defensive mindset and let Yashasvi took the charge in the powerplay overs as the game was turning into a one-man show. Jaiswal pulled off the fastest-ever fifty in the tournament’s history in just 13 balls and on the innings’ 17th ball only.

Samson paced up his innings with a six and four in the sixth over as Rajasthan posted 78/1 in the powerplay to ensure a big win. Both Samson and Jaiswal kept the bashing on as Rajasthan targeted an early win to maintain an impressive net run rate as four teams were tied on ten points prior to this game.

Sunil Narine and Suyash Sharma tied to keep both the batters quiet by conceding a combined 29 runs from four overs after the powerplay. But Rajasthan had already crossed the 100-run mark and was in a comfortable position to chase the 150-run target with ease. Narine dropped a sitter on his own delivery as KKR missed a chance to dismiss Samson in the ninth over who was struggling at 16 runs off 17 balls.

Samson soon recovered from that drop and smashed three big sixes off Jason Roy in the 11th over. Samson remained unbeaten on 48 runs off 29 balls with the help of two boundaries and five maximums as he allowed Jasiwal a chance to score his second century of the tournament. But Jaiswal missed the golden opportunity as he finished the game with a four off Shardul in the 14th over.

Jaiswal recorded 98 runs off 47 balls with the help of 12 fours and five sixes and is now just one run behind the tournament’s leading run-scorer Faf du Plessis with 575 runs in 12 innings. Chahal’s four wickets helped him become the leading wicket-taker in IPL history (187 wickets) as he surpassed Dwayne Bravo’s record of 184 wickets and is currently leading the bowling chart this season as well with 21 wickets in 12 innings.

The Royals were promoted to the third position in the points table with 12 points from 12 matches and wins in the remaining two games against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings will ensure their qualification to the playoffs. On the other hand, Kolkata Knight Riders dropped to the seventh position with 10 points from 12 matches as their slim hopes for playoff qualification were further shattered.