Rajasthan Royals win second match in a row to beat Kolkata Knight Riders

2013-04-09 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — A valiant half century from Eoin Morgan was not enough as the Rajasthan Royals beat the Kolkata Knight Riders by 19 runs in their IPL clash at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur yesterday.

Morgan’s 38-ball innings of 51 was the shining light in an otherwise dismal batting performance by the visitors, as they slumped to 125 all out after earlier restricting the Royals to a total of 144 for six.

Kevon Cooper (4-0-15-3) and Siddharth Trivedi (4-0-23-3) were the pick of the bowlers for the hosts, while Brad Hodge’s late fireworks en route to an undefeated 46 from 31 balls had earlier helped his team to a match-winning total.

The Royals have now won both their opening games, and join the Sunrisers Hyderabad on four points, while the Knight Riders slip to fourth place on the standings with two points from their two games.

Earlier, the Royals had lost the toss and been asked to bat first. However, they struggled to get the ball away in the opening exchanges, and lost opener Shane Watson (5) to a sharp catch off the bowling of Brett Lee (4-0-20-1) in the third over with the score on 11.

Captain Rahul Dravid (17) was unable to continue his form from Rajasthan’s opening encounter where he made 65, and, after being tied down by some disciplined Kolkata bowling, played all around one from Rajat Bhatia (3-0-21-1) at the end of the eighth over to end a partnership of 35.

Stuart Binny (14), who amassed 40 from just 20 deliveries in the first match, attempted to up the ante as he crashed three blows to the boundary in the space of five balls. However, he was trapped in front by Laxmi Shukla (2-0-14-1) at the start of the 11th over, and with the score at 63 for three, the Royals seemed to be behind the game.

Opener Ajinkya Rahane (36) and Hodge then steadied the ship for the home side, and a glorious six and a four for each batsman over extra cover in the 15th over took the score past the 100 mark.

Sunil Narine then stunned the home crowd with a double strike an over later as he had Rahane caught behind to one that left the outside edge, before Cooper (0) was stumped just two balls later.

However, the wrist spinner was at the wrong end of an 18-run blasting from Hodge and new batsman Dishant Yagnik (16) in the penultimate over, and a further 12 in the final six deliveries gave the hosts a competitive total.

In reply, the Knight Riders looked to captain Gautam Gambhir (22) to make a positive start.

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