Knight Riders suffer one of the most dramatic batting collapses in IPL

2014-05-06 00:00

RAJASTHAN Royals bowlers Shane Watson and Pravin Tambe orchestrated one of the most dramatic batting collapses in IPL history as the Kolkata Knight Riders lost six wickets in nine balls for the addition of just two runs to lose by 10 runs at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad yesterday.

Chasing the Royals’ total of 170-6, the Knight Riders appeared to be in complete control with openers Gautam Gambhir (54) and Robin Uthappa (65) reaching 121 without loss at the start of the 15th over.

But Watson claimed three wickets in that over before 42-year-old leg-spinner Tambe claimed a dramatic hat-trick in the 16th to pull the rug from underneath the KKR franchise.

KKR captain Gamhir edged behind but it was Uthappa who should be held responsible for the ensuing carnage with a reckless and unnecessary heave to deep square leg that left the run chase floundering with two new batsmen at the crease.

Watson then bowled West Indian Andre Russell to make the score 122-3. It was sweet revenge for Watson who had earlier been duped by Russell when batting after the West Indian had pretended to pull out of his run-up shortly before delivery but instead continued to bowl the ball with the batsman tricked into offering no shot.

Manish Pandey was stumped in the next over, Yusuf Pathan chipped a return catch straight to Tambe and Ryan ten Doeschate, selected in place of Jacques Kallis, completed Tambe’s hat-trick when he was adjudged lbw. Both replays and the look on his face suggested he may have hit the ball first.

Earlier the Royals’ top four batsmen all made telling contributions without reaching 50 as they posted a challenging total of 170-6. Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair posted 52 for the first wicket in just 6.3 overs before Rahane attempted a risky single to short fine leg from where Sunil Narine produced a direct hit to run him out for 30.

Nair top scored with a resolute 44 from 35 deliveries with four fours and a six but was denied a half century by some excellent work from Bangladeshi left arm spinner Shakib al Hasan, who saw the batsman advance and fired in a full delivery wide of off stump allowing Uthappa to complete the stumping.

Nineteen-year-old Sanjay Samson’s innings of 37 from 31 balls ended when Manish Pandey held a routine catch at deep midwicket off the bowling of Narine but there was nothing routine about the next two catches as three wickets crashed in the final nine balls of the innings.

Suryakumar Yadav clung onto a remarkable effort on the long on boundary to remove Royals skipper Shane Watson for 31 from just 20 balls. The fielder was on the very edge of the rope before lunging over the rope to take the ball two-handed before somehow retaining his balance on one leg. Ten Doeschate’s effort in the final over, also at long on, was hardly less spectacular to remove Stuart Binny (11) and there was still time for Yadav to claim a second catch to remove Steve Smith before Rajat Bhatia hit the final ball of the innings for six.

The result lifted the Royals into a tie at the top of the log with Chennai Superkings and King’s XI Punjab.

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