IPL 2024: Iyer, Salt, Russell star as KKR survive Karn scare to beat RCB by one run

Kolkata: Captain Shreyas Iyer hit a 36-ball fifty, his first half-century in IPL since May 2022, while Phil Salt and Ramandeep Singh smashed quick cameos and Andre Russell followed it up with a three-fer as Kolkata Knight Riders survived a late Karn Sharma scare to clinch a nail-biting victory over Royal Challengers Bengaluru by just one run at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

Iyer smashed seven fours and a six to end the day as the top run-scorer for KKR, while Salt sizzled with a 14-ball 48 and Ramandeep produced fireworks in the end with an unbeaten 24 off just nine balls, propelling KKR to a massive 222/6 in 20 overs. In reply, Will Jacks and Rajat Patidar smashed fifties in a 102-run stand for the third wicket to keep RCB in the hunt.

But Russell and Sunil Narine struck decisive blows as RCB went from 137/2 to 155/6. Despite a late scare from Karn in the final over, RCB couldn’t get over the line and were all out for 220 to slump to their seventh defeat of the competition, while KKR now jumped to second place in the points table.

With 21 runs needed off the final over, Karn sliced Starc over backward point for six and survived a caught-behind appeal on the very next ball. Karn stayed deep in the crease and smacked Starc for sixes over extra cover and backward point.

But Starc had the last laugh as he held on to a sharp catch on his follow-through to send back Karn for 20 off seven balls. With three runs needed off the last ball, Lockie Ferguson was run out going for the second run, as Salt disturbed the bails air-borne, to give KKR a tight win, with RCB enduring a heartbreak.

Electing to bowl first, RCB didn’t have an ideal start as Salt swivelled Mohammed Siraj’s short balls for a six and four respectively. With Narine kept quiet by a yorker plan from Siraj and Yash Dayal, Salt continued to deal in boundaries – taking back-to-back fours off the latter, before hitting four boundaries and two sixes off Lockie Ferguson in the fourth over yielding 28 runs.

Salt could have taken the record of fastest fifty of IPL 2024 but was caught at deep mid-wicket in the pursuit of going for another boundary off Siraj, falling after hitting seven fours and three sixes. In the next over, Narine fell after lofting a slower ball from Dayal to long-off. RCB ended the power-play with a back-pedalling Cameron Green taking a one-handed leaping catch at mid-wicket to give Dayal the wicket of Angkrish Raghuvanshi.

Post that, RCB imposed a slowdown on KKR’s batters, though Iyer kept the scoreboard ticking with occasional boundaries. After Venkatesh Iyer pulled to the deep off Green, the all-rounder kept Rinku Singh quiet with his short balls. Rinku would break free by lofting to get three boundaries, before heaving off the glove to fine leg off a slower ball from Ferguson.

Iyer reverse swept Karn for a boundary before he and Andre Russell took 23 runs off Dayal in the 17th over to get his fifty in 23 balls. Shortly after, Iyer went for a loft off Green but was caught by long-off diving across to his left. Ramandeep smashed Siraj for two sixes and a four in the 19th over before he and Russell hit three fours collectively off Dayal in the final over as KKR went past the 220-run mark.

Chasing 223, Virat Kohli was off the blocks quickly by hitting two sixes and a four. But Kohli lobbed a slower high full-toss from Harshit Rana back to the bowler, and the decision was sent to third umpire Michael Gough.

The review system showed that the ball was dipping on Kohli, who was batting out of his crease, via a procedure where they match the height of a batter to his waist, with the height of the ball, leaving Kohli livid as he made his displeasure known to umpires before walking off for 18.

After Faf du Plessis fell cheaply to Varun Chakaravarthy as Venkatesh Iyer held on to a low catch at mid-on, Jacks and Patidar joined forces to get RCB on track. Jacks was strong in attacking on the front foot, especially in hitting three sixes and a four off Starc as 22 runs came off the last power-play over.

On the back of taking down Starc, Jacks hit a six and four off Chakaravarthy to get his first IPL fifty in only 29 balls. Patidar joined the boundary-hitting party in the 10th and 11th overs, employing the pull and slog-sweep well to hit two fours and as many sixes off Suyash Sharma, followed by carting Narine for two maximums and get his half-century in just 21 balls.

KKR staged a comeback when Russell took out Jacks and Patidar with slower balls in a span of four balls, followed by Narine dismissing Green and Mahipal Lomror cheaply. Impact Player Suyash Prabhudessai hit three boundaries before holing out to long-off a slower delivery from Harshit, as KKR eked out some tidy overs.

Karthik, RCB’s last big hope of acing the chase, steered past the third man and picked the gap at backward point to get two boundaries. He would heave and slice Russell for six and four before the pacer bounced back as Karthik tried to swivel over fine leg, but the top-edge was caught by the keeper. Karn tried to conjure up a miraculous win for RCB, but KKR held their nerve to come out on top by defending 21 runs in the final over.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 222/6 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 50, Phil Salt 48; Cameron Green 2-35, Yash Dayal 2-56) beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru 220 (Will Jacks 55, Rajat Patidar 52; Andre Russell 3-25, Harshit Rana 2-33) by one run

Also Read: IPL 2024: Green, Siraj, Karn Come In As RCB Win Toss, Opt To Bowl First Against Unchanged KKR


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