The general full and wide view of the DSC during match 47 of season 13 of the Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on the 27th October 2020. Photo: Sportzpics for BCCI
Pat Cummins took four wickets as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) recorded a valuable 60-run win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their final Indian Premier League (IPL) group stage match on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium. Chasing a target of 192, RR only managed a paltry 131/9 in their 20 overs and their campaign came to an end.
The win takes KKR to fourth spot temporarily due to the two-point lead they gain over SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), who face the dominant Mumbai Indians in their final group game on Tuesday. RR, meanwhile, drop down to the bottom of the table.
KKR were pushed to 191/7 by captain Eoin Morgan who scored an unbeaten 68 off 35 balls. RR then got off to a disastrous start to the steep chase, losing Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, captain Steve Smith, Sanju Samson and Riyan Parag within the first five overs. Cummins accounted for the wickets of Uthappa, Stokes who fell thanks to a blinder of a catch from wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, Smith and Parag while Samson fell to Mavi.
With the win, KKR rose to 14 points thus momentarily placing them in fourth place. Their net run rate has improved to -0.214 but it remains lesser than that of fifth placed SRH (+0.555) who are on 12 points.
Earlier, Eoin Morgan finally came to the party with a blistering 68 off 35 balls to lead his team to 191/7. He smashed his England team mate Ben Stokes to all corners of the park in the 19th over.
Cummins first hit a six off the second ball of the over after which he brought Morgan on strike with a single. Morgan then hit consecutive sixes and a four as KKR took a total of 24 runs from that over. Morgan hit a six off the last ball of the innings to take KKR beyond 190
"Looks very dry and hard, there is a little bit more grass on it. The ball might come on slightly better in the first half and not sure if dew is gonna come in, but it surely influences things and that could mean that the team that wins toss might want to chase," reckons Kumara Sangakkara and Pommie Mbangwa during KKR vs RR pitch report.
Rajasthan Royals talismanic England all-rounder Ben Stokes has just won a Man-of-the-Match award, having made a breezy half century after picking up two wickets, in the team's win over Kings XI Punjab on Friday.
The 2019 World Cup final hero getting his mojo back, at such a crucial juncture of the tournament, is great news for the Royals. And, needless to say, a bad one for KKR as the leading all-rounder can singlehandedly influence the outcome of a game.
RR chances for playoffs qualification
They have just given their playoffs qualification hopes a lift and Rajasthan Royals will look to sustain the momentum against Kolkata Knight Riders in another must-win IPL game here on Sunday.
Besides a victory in their last league game, the inaugural edition winners will also need other results to go their way if they are to make the playoffs of the lucrative event, in its 13th edition now.
The best-case scenario for RR would be Kings XI Punjab losing their last match and Sunrisers Hyderabad winning no more than one in their last two outings.
In that case, RR will go through with 14 points, without net run rate coming into play.
However, RR's first task is to do what is within its control -- win the match against the Knight Riders and then hope for the best. Given the tight situation, the bigger the margin of win, the better it will be for the Steve Smith-led side.
KKR squad for IPL 2020
Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan (captain), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrior, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Andre Russell, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Sunil Narine, Nikhil Naik, Tom Banton, Tim Seifert.
RR squad for IPL 2020
Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Andrew Tye, Kartik Tyagi, Steven Smith (captain), Ankit Rajpoot, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Mahipal Lomror, Oshane Thomas, Riyan Parag, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, Akash Singh, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Shashank Singh, Varun Aaron, Tom Curran, Robin Uthappa, Aniruddha Joshi, Jofra Archer.
IPL 2020, Match 54: KKR vs RR preview
Consecutive wins in their last two matches have given Rajasthan Royals (RR) hope for qualifying for the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Steve Smith-led team will aim to capitalise from the situation when they face a deflated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) here on Sunday.
Both RR (bet run rate -0.377) and KKR (-0.467) have equal 12 points each from 13 games. However, it is RR's superior net run-rate that gives them an edge. RR will be looking for a big win to stay ahead in middle of the jam-packed table with every team, except Chennai Super Kings (CSK), still afloat.
Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson rediscovering their form has been the catalyst for RR in their recent matches while skipper Smith, Robin Uthappa, and Jos Buttler were also handy with the bat in their game against Kings XI Punjab.
Fast bowler Jofra Archer has put in some of his best performances ever this season while Stokes was also among the wickets against KXIP. However, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi and Shreyas Gopal leaked runs.
For KKR, spinner Varun Chakravarthy has been the talk of the town with his performances earning him a call-up to the Indian team.
The team's massive defeats against KXIP and CSK have derailed their campaign. Nitish Rana has managed 80-plus totals in two of the last three matches but the rest of the batting lineup has been plagued by inconsistency.
Narine, meanwhile, will have an additional responsibility with the ball.
Lockie Ferguson had a bright start in the season but looked out of sorts in the last game while Pat Cummins has finally got himself back among the wickets.