New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Skipper Eoin Morgan's fiery knock of 68 off 35 balls and a disciplined all-round bowling performance guided Kolkata Knight Riders to a 60-run win over Rajasthan Royals in game 54 of the Indian Premier League 2020 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. With the defeat, the Steve Smith-men have officially been knocked out of the tournament. 

Chasing a target of 191, Rajasthan got off to a horrible start, losing half the team inside the powerplay. Pat Cummins was hit for 19 runs in his first over but he came back strong with the wickets of Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, and Riyan Parag. Rahul Tewatia and Jos Buttler built up a brief partnership in the middle overs, but the asking rate kept Kolkata on top throughout. Both Tewatia and Buttler were dismissed by Varun Chakravarthy and the team could onl manage 131 at the end of 20 wickets.

“We thought 180 was par. But losing four in the first four didn’t help,” Rajasthan’s skipper Steve Smith said after the match. “Cummins bowled nice lengths and made us play big shorts. Unfortunately, we are at the wrong end of the results, We started well with two wins, won two before this one but were inconsistent in the middle and didn’t take enough responsibility.”

Batting first, Kolkata too got off to a poor start, losing Nitish Rana for a golden duck. Shubman Gill and Rahul Tripathi built a brief partnership before the former was dismissed by Rahul Tewatia in the nineth over. Eoin Morgan's late heroics guided the team to a respectable total of 191. Morgan hit six sixes and five fours in his innings and he was assisted by Andre Russell, who scored 25off just 11 balls.

“it’s a good feeling to be back on the field,” Andre Russell said after the match. “It’s been a tough two weeks doing rehab three times a day, was a bit painful. But, I’m happy that I’m back. It’s a grade two hamstring tear which usually takes 8 weeks to heal. The scan was very ugly. With KKR physiology and doctors around me, it helped.”

With the win, Kolkata have moved to the fourth spot in the points table and will have to depend on the favourable results of the final two matches betwene other franchises to retain a spot in the top four.

Posted By: Lakshay Raja