The Knight Riders chain five consecutive defeats

Spinners Anukul and Narine limit Royals to 152 before Shreyas, Rana and Rinku kick off

Spinners Anukul and Narine limit Royals to 152 before Shreyas, Rana and Rinku kick off

The spinners of the Kolkata Knight Riders proved too tricky for the batting Rajasthan Royals, helping the team to a seven-wicket win in their return leg at Wankhede Stadium on Monday.

Versatile Anukul Roy shone with the ball in his first-ever outing in purple and gold, finishing with numbers of 4-0-28-1 as KKR finally got their campaign back on track after five straight defeats.


Sunil Narine has been impressive as usual – but not on the pitch – conceding just 19.

After Shreyas Iyer’s men opted to bowl, Umesh Yadav provided the breakthrough with a blinder from his own bowling alley to send Devdutt Padikkal back to the dugout.

Jos Buttler wrestled Narine. With skipper Sanju Samson (54, 49b, 7×4, 1×6), the English fly-half only managed to bring the Royals to 38 in the PowerPlay.

Catch the big fish

Tim Southee caught the big fish on the ninth. Buttler, looking to break the shackles, flat beat a leaping Shivam Mavi from long range.

Karun Nair then fell to Anukul, who cleverly brought his length back. Riyan Parag also resumed the long walk soon after.

Samson, meanwhile, huffed and huffed to fifty before throwing a full delivery to deep midwicket.

Shimron Hetmyer (27, 13b, 1×4, 2×6) breathed much-needed life into the innings as 30 runs were scored in the final two overs.

Chasing 153, Knight Riders flyhalf Aaron Finch and B. Indrajith didn’t last long.

Finch dragged Kuldeep Sen’s rear delivery to the stumps, while Indrajith missed one to thin-legged R. Ashwin.

Knight Riders quickly found themselves in a familiar situation at 32 for two of six overs.

The spin duo

The Royals had two of the three bowlers who took the most wickets against the Knight Riders in their ranks – Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal.

The duo tried to check out the racing stream further. But Shreyas (34, 32b, 3×4, 1×6) and Nitish Rana (48 no, 37b, 3×4, 2×6) spun the scoreboard.

Rana, who wasn’t fired by Ashwin in the IPL, took the off-spinner in the 11th, hitting it for two fours and a six.

The 60-run, 43-ball partnership ended when Samson confidently asked for a referral after a wide call.

The call of UltraEdge

Although it looks like Shreyas played and missed, UltraEdge suggested otherwise.

Rinku Singh (42, 23b, 6×4, 1×6), who came on at 92 for three in 12.5 overs, was in fine contact.

With Rana’s support – his 66-race pit contribution was just 17 – the goal never seemed big enough.

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