IPL 2022: A night for Knights, at last

Written by Abhishek Purohit
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May 3, 2022 12:26:20 am

KKR defeat RR by 7 wickets. (Photo by Saikat Das / Sportzpics for IPL)

A timely dash from Rinku Singh ensured Umesh Yadav’s brilliance in the Powerplay wasn’t in vain as Kolkata Knight Riders hauled in a modest target of 153 against Rajasthan Royals for their first win in nearly a month after five straight losses.

Umesh bosses Powerplay again

Umesh, along with Mohammed Shami and Mukesh Chaudhary, has taken the joint-most Powerplay wickets in this IPL – eight – at the least expensive economy rate of 6.44. His opening spell of 3-1-19-1 on Monday was a window into why he’s been hard to get away, and has also been removing batsmen early.

Nitish Rana with a maximum to finish it off as @KKRiders win by 7 wickets and add two much needed points to their tally.

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Scorecard – https://t.co/fVVHGJTNYn #KKRvRR #TATAIPL pic.twitter.com/cEgI86p4Gn

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 2, 2022

The threat of his skiddy outswing is always present; he magnified it by delivering to Jos Buttler from almost in front of the stumps, thus starting the line from middle- and-off, forcing the RR opener to play, and curling it just past the outside edge.

The ones that cut back in keep the batsmen guessing. Devdutt Padikkal fell, probably expecting the ball to swing back into him, given how he’d closed his bat-face a bit. But the ball carried straight on, and he popped a catch back to Umesh.

Caught & bowled! ☝️

Early success with the ball for @KKRiders, courtesy @y_umesh. 👏 👏 #RR lose Devdutt Padikkal.

Follow the match ▶️ https://t.co/fVVHGJTNYn#TATAIPL | #KKRvRR pic.twitter.com/xN1k0tI4mh

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 2, 2022

One quality Umesh has added this season is control; there haven’t been too many overcooked offerings heading into the pads, the route through which he’s often released pressure and leaked runs over his career. Of the five fours he conceded to RR, two were down to fielding lapses, one was a thick edge and another a half-chance.

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When Umesh returned for his last over, he had more variations to show. Seeing that Sanju Samson was trying to line him up, eyeing the straight and extra-cover boundaries, he pulled his length back and also slipped in a slow and wide short ball. Aaron Finch misfielded at third man to allow a four in what should have been a two-run over, but Umesh still finished with a run-a-ball economy rate.

Brakes on RR

A Powerplay score of 38/1 meant Buttler had to take more risks than usual in the middle overs. A ball after swiping Tim Southee to the long-leg rope following yet another poor effort in the field from Sunil Narine, Buttler shuffled across to off, opened up considerably and almost helicoptered the ball to wide long-on, where Shivam Mavi didn’t mess up.

Meanwhile, Samson was having problems with his lower back, and had already taken treatment from the physio. He had been willing to take a chance against Umesh, and had scythed him just out of mid-off’s reach.

WATCH – Shivam Mavi’s brilliant catch stops Buttler in his tracks.

📽️📽️https://t.co/VdQa9jYQGE #TATAIPL #KKRvRR

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 2, 2022

Samson launched a few blows in his standard area over extra cover, but was clearly hampered by the bad back. He ran a second run only once, and in between, would walk towards square leg, trying to steady himself against the pain for the next ball. He departed with three overs left at a strike rate of 110 for his 54.

KKR denied pace on the Wankhede pitch which had seen action a day ago, and four RR batsmen failed to clear the cow-corner boundary. Two of those catches were taken by Rinku Singh, a livewire presence on the fence amid an otherwise lacklustre team fielding effort at times. A couple of late blows from Shimron Hetmyer dragged RR past 150.

WATCH – 4,6,4: Nitish ups the ante against Ashwin!

📽️📽️https://t.co/RJ0nPF0G5n #TATAIPL #KKRvRR

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 2, 2022

KKR pull through

At the halfway stage, RR had been 62 for 2, and KKR were 59 for 2. Their fifth different opening combination in five games – Aaron Finch and Baba Indrajith this time – was another failure. Shreyas Iyer and Nitish Rana took their time but there isn’t any real weak link in the RR attack, so matters had to be forced, and Rana did it in the 11th over against Ravichandran Ashwin. He reverse-lapped Ashwin from middle-and-leg for a couple of fours either side of a slogged six. But like Suresh Raina would, much more so in international cricket than in the IPL, Rana is expecting the short ball often, and as a result, misses out on many scoring opportunities when it is pitched up.

A well deserved Player of the Match award for Rinku Singh for his brilliant knock of 42* as #KKR win by 7 wickets.#TATAIPL #KKRvRR pic.twitter.com/TFTEb3QHnh

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 2, 2022

Rinku came in at Shreyas’ exit in the 13th over and the innings acquired some momentum finally. With two left-handers in the middle, Samson held back Yuzvendra Chahal’s last over until the 18th. With 31 needed, Rinku punched and slogged Chahal for successive fours. In the 19th, Trent Boult dived over a Rinku power-drive at mid-off to let it race for four, and barring RR’s indignation at some arguable wide calls, there was to be no more drama. Rinku’s unbeaten 42 off 23 had ensured that.

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