Thursday at Eden Gardens in Kolkata was a record-breaking day for Rajasthan Royals as they hammered the home team Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets in their important Indian Premier League encounter to revive their play-off chances.
With the significant victory, the Royals snapped a three-game losing trend and moved up to third place in the rankings with 12 points from 12 games. The Royals’ net run-rate (0.0633) received a tremendous lift from the victory with 41 balls remaining as the play-off battle heated up.
How the KKR vs RR game progressed:
Young Royals opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (98*) blasted the quickest fifty, off 13 balls, in the league to help the visitors chase down a modest target in the 14th over, after spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (187) became the most wicket-taker in IPL history.
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Sanju Samson (48*) and Jaiswal’s unbroken 121-run partnership pushed the Royals to a decisive victory by helping them reach their 150-run mark in only 13.1 overs. Chahal, who chose to bowl first, produced an outstanding 4/25 as the Royals held the KKR to a disappointing 149/8. The fastest fifty was scored by 21-year-old Jaiswal, surpassing the previous mark of 14 balls shared by KL Rahul and Pat Cummins, on a day when KKR hitters struggled to time the ball.
With a small chase, Jaiswal’s innings, which included 13 fours and five sixes, fell two runs short of a century (98 off 47 balls).
As the pair had an unbroken winning stand of 121 runs off only 69 balls, Samson provided the southpaw with excellent support with a 48 not out from 29 balls. For KKR, who dropped to seventh place after 12 matches and 10 points, the game is all but finished.
When KKR captain Nitish Rana made the bold choice to bowl himself in the first over, Jaiswal made his intentions obvious. Without wasting any time, Jaiswal took advantage of the situation and promptly beat Rana for two sixes and two fours in a row to score 26 runs.
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