Chris Lynn and Kuldeep Yadav starred with the bat and ball, respectively, for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as they defeated Rajasthan Royals (RR) by six wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Apart from Lynn (45), Dinesh Karthik struck 41 not out off 31 deliveries, stayed till the end and ensured that KKR got over the line with a six to finish it off.
With the win, KKR remain third in the points table with 14 points from 13 games and enhanced their chances of making it to the play-offs. On the other hand, RR remained on fourth with 12 points from 12 games and will have to win their final league match against Royal Challengers Bangalore to have any chance at qualifying.
KKR won the toss and put RR to bat first. Kuldeep produced a magnificent effort to help the Kolkata outfit bowl out RR for a mere 142.
Chasing 142, Sunil Narine unleashed his monster right from the first delivery and smacked Krishnappa Gowtham for 21 runs in the first over.
However, that was meant to be it for Narine as Stokes came in the next over, put up a short delivery towards Narine and the catch fell to Gowtham.
Gowtham fell into a dramatic celebration, throwing the ball to the ground in anger, after having been completely battered by the same man in the first over.
Stokes soon followed up by sending back Robin Uthappa for just 4 runs leaving KKR at 36/2 in 3.5 overs.
From there, Lynn and Nitish Rana struck a decent partnership before Ish Sodhi broke the partnership trapping Rana lbw.
However, captain Karthik joined Lynn on the pitch and from there, it looked inevitable that KKR would notch up a victory.
Karthik and Lynn stuck together to put up 48 runs and then the captain, along with Russell took KKR to victory.
Earlier, Kuldeep produced his IPL career-best figures of 4/20 in a crunch game for KRR to help them skittle out RR for 142 runs in 19 overs.
Kuldeep, who had not been at his best till Tuesday, picked a wickets in each of his four overs as RR batsmen failed to read his deliveries, applied themselves poorly and collapsed.
Jos Buttler (39) and Rahul Tripathi (27) gave RR a blitzy start smashing boundaries in 10 straight deliveries between the third and fourth over to take RR to 59/0 in 4 overs.
However, Andre Russell struck in the fifth over and removed Tripathi and a royal collapse followed.
Kuldeep came into attack and sent Rahane packing in the second delivery of the eighth over and Buttler followed his captain exactly 12 deliveries later, giving away a catch off Kuldeep.
The onus fell on Sanju Samson after Buttler's wicket but the youngster failed to stamp his authority as he caught lbw by Sunil Narine in just the 11th over.
And just like that, the entire momentum swung in KKR's favour with RR tottering at 95/4.
Kuldeep then produced a sensational googly to outfox Binny and in his next over forced Stokes to miss the line bowling around the wicket.
Unadkat put up a late attack smashing 26 off 18 deliveries but that could only propel RR to 142 before he fell in the last delivery of the 19th over and pulled the plug on RR.
Source: India Today