Yuzvendra Chahal bowled a mesmerising spell of 4/25 and became the leading wicket-taker in the history of IPL while leading an impressive bowling show from Rajasthan Royals to restrict Kolkata Knight Riders to 149/8 in a season 2023 match at the Eden Gardens, here on Thursday.
Chahal was undoubtedly Rajasthan's standout bowler, spinning a web around Kolkata's batters with his slow tossed up deliveries, leg-spin and googly to keep the hosts below 150. He was well-supported by Trent Boult taking two wickets while Sandeep Sharma had a scalp to his name. For Kolkata, barring Venkatesh Iyer's 57, none of the batters got going.
On a slow pitch, Jason Roy began by steering Boult through point and lofting a drive over cover to collect two boundaries. In the third over, Roy flicked off Boult, but Shimron Hetmyer ran to his right from deep square leg and took a terrific jumping catch on the edge of the boundary.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz smacked Sandeep for lofted sixes over mid-off and extra-cover in the fourth over. But in the next over, his mistimed drive on the up off Boult was caught by Sandeep running to his right and diving to take the catch at mid-off.
Post power-play, Rajasthan kept Kolkata on a tight leash by off-spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Joe Root. But Venkatesh, who was struggling for momentum, slog-swept and lofted inside-out over long-off against Ashwin in the tenth over for back-to-back sixes, before Nitish Rana ended the 18-run over with a drive past extra cover for four.
Chahal struck for Rajasthan in the next over, having Rana slog-sweeping straight to diving backward square leg and becoming the leading wicket-taker in history of IPL. But Venkatesh took the leg-spinner to cleaners in his next over, clearing long-off for six, before pulling and driving with ease for two fours.
After Andre Russell smacked KM Asif over long-off for six, the pacer bounced back by cramping the big-hitter for room and cutting straight to backward point. Venkatesh stormed to his fifty in 40 balls by thumping Asif over long-off for six.
But Chahal took him out in the 17th over as the left-hander skied a wide delivery to cover, followed by the leg-spinner trapping Shardul Thakur lbw on review. He returned in the 19th over to have Rinku Singh holing out to long-off, before Sandeep had Sunil Narine dismissed in a similar manner on the last ball.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 149/7 in 20 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 57; Yuzvendra Chahal 4/25, Trent Boult 2/15) against Rajasthan Royals
( 448 Words)