20th May 2009 – Kingsmead, Durban : If one ever thought that low scoring encounters are boring in a T20 game, this encounter would have certainly changed opinions. Chasing a mere 102 for a pride-seeking win, the KKR batting collapsed but the seventh wicket duo toiled hard and in the end pulled off a great 4-wicket win.
Having won the toss, KKR put RR into bat. Warne opted for Henderson over Smith and brought in Niraj Patel for Abhishek Raut. McCullum started with spin and Ojha smashed three sixes in the first over itself. RR looked like they were on a mission to put up a massive total that would eventually be beyond KKR’s reach.
Thereafter, Charl Langeveldt playing his first match, made full use of the conditions to bowl an outstanding spell picking 3-wickets for not too many. RR did not help their cause with some poor cricket and running between the wickets that reflected in as many three runouts. The pressure of a ‘must-win’ match clearly showed as the Royals’ struggled at 62/7 in the twelfth over.
Warne and Jadeja pushed the ball around for singles with the odd boundary to add 30 runs before Jadeja was cleaned up! The tail added another few runs to take the Royals past a 100-run mark, setting KKR 102 for victory.
McCullum looked to get home in a hurry as he kicked things off with a couple of boundaries. However, the Royals got a brink of hope when KKR lost Ganguly and McCullum of successive deliveries to Patel and Singh respectively. The RR bowlers kept the pressure all the way and kept getting wickets at regular intervals, making a great match out of almost nothing.
Half way through, the Royals had their nose well in front having seen the back of half the side for just 38. With the top order back in the hut, the champs were looking favourites. KKR then lost their sixth wicket at 45 and were almost staring at defeat. One Knight stood strong to the task and held his nerves and almost the entire KKR innings – Laxmi Shukla. Along with Agarkar, he put on an unbeaten 57-run partnership to seal the fate of the champions.