The Kolkata Knight Riders completely outplayed the Rajasthan Royals in a 37-run victory.
KKR scored 174-6, thanks in large part to Shubman Gill’s determined 47 (34) and a valuable 34 (23) down the order from Eoin Morgan. Andre Russell chipped in with 24 off 14 deliveries, while Nitish Rana’s 22 contributed to a challenging target on a two-paced track.
The Royals, stacked with batting talent, would have been confident despite the nature of the deck, but Jos Butler (21), Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag were dismissed for a combined total of just 35 runs, leaving them in desperate trouble at 42-5.
This meant the rebuilding job fell on Rahul Tewatia’s shoulders, but the left-hander was bowled trying to keep pace with the required rate, and with him the Royals’ challenge, Tom Curran the lone standout, scoring a 54* off 36 deliveries.
It would be remiss not to praise the collective efforts of KKR’s bowling unit. The Dubai wicket generally has more in it for bowlers than any other in the tournament. Their seamers laid an excellent foundation and by the time premier spinners Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy started operating, the Royals simply had no telling response.