The Kolkata Knight Riders fell short of the Rajasthan Royals’ 168-7, giving them their first win of the tournament.
Kolkata struggled on a slow wicket, batting conservatively. This approach left them with seven wickets in hand going into the final five overs, but too little time to score the necessary runs.
Brad Hodge and Sourav Ganguly were the pick of the Kolkata batsmen, but despite scoring at a rate greater than a run a ball, they failed to take the game from a determined Rajasthan. The slow wicket was a blessing for Rajasthan, whose batsmen have been tormented by seam bowling on the harder pitches thus far.
At the toss, Shane Warne targeted 175, though the indefensible totals set previously and the inauspicious start of Michael Lumb (departing first ball of the innings LBW to Dinda) had the Ahmedabad crowd apprehensive early on.
These fears proved unjustified as Rajasthan, guided by a composed 45 by Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, fell only seven runs short of Warne’s target. They played with purpose, with one batsman attacking and the other rotating the strike; sensible aggression putting Rajasthan in good stead.
This approach looked as if it may derail in the 18th over when Jhunjhunwala departed. Adam Voges had other ideas, scoring a rampant 17 from the final over of Ishant Sharma to finish unbeaten on 37.
Tait killed hopes of a rally at the death from the Knight Riders, plaguing Sourav Ganguly and Owais Shah with yorkers and low full tosses, taking up the mantle of Rajasthan’s spinners who had earlier slowed Kolkata.
Rajasthan 168-7 (20 overs)
Abhishek Jhunjhunwala 45, Adam Voges 37*, Ashok Dinda 2-28.
Kolkata 132-5 (20 overs)
Brad Hodge 36, Yusuf Pathan 2-23.
Rajasthan won by 34 runs
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