5th May 2014

Tambe’s hat-trick & Watson’s leadership helps RR vs KKR

It could have been KKR game if not for Watson’s & Tambe’s mindful bowling for RR.

Temperatures topped 40 C in Ahmedabad, but the pitch had a tinge of green that surprised Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir and prompted him to bowl. “I’ve never seen so much grass here, to be honest,” he said. A string of three successive losses paved way for Netherlands’ Ryan ten Doeschate to win his first cap of the season, at the cost of the out-of-form Jacques Kallis.

Rajasthan Royals might not enjoy the Jaipur advantage this season but their record at Sardar Patel Stadium – three wins in four games – still fostered good vibes. Shane Watson said he preferred to bat and added the trainers might have a tough time keeping the players hydrated with the humidity around. Spinner Rahul Tewatia will make his IPL debut for Royals in place of Dhawal Kulkarni. Tim Southee was recalled with Kane Richardson making way which probably was a wrong move.

Batting first, RR posted a very good total of 170/6. Brilliant start by Rahane and Nair once again as they added 52 runs in 39 balls. However, that was put to an end due to unfortunate run-out of Rahane by Narine. That did not stop the run machine for RR. Samson & Nair continued the onslaught adding 53 runs in the 2nd wicket partnership. In the 14th over, Nair missed his half century as he got out to Al Hasan at 44 runs.

Samson, Watson & Binny contributed to RR’s scorecard in the last overs and Bhatia finished the innings with the last ball SIX!

171 did not even look like a big target as KKR started their innings ‘on fire’ with excellent contributions from their openers skipper Gambhir and Uthappa. Together, they added 126 runs. It looked like RR had lost this match until skipper Watson decided to not give up. He took up the ball and ‘did a Faulkner’!

W – 1 – W – 0 – W – 0; and that’s was just the beginning of the KKR collapse.

Next over was by Pravin Tambe who added to snatched it away from KKR!

W (w) – W – W – 0 – 1 – 1 – 1; Tambe’s first hattrick of the season & RR’s gate-pass to the victory!

From 121/0 to 123/6, KKR’s downfall was one of the most disastrous batting collapse of Pepsi IPL 2014. From what seemed like KKR’s successful revenge, it ended as a sweet continuation of victories.

An equation of 50 off the final six overs is not cause for alarm and Knight Riders had all 10 wickets in hand. The events that unfolded at Motera were almost unfathomable. Shane Watson pried out Gambhir to tip the dominos. An inexplicable promotion for Andre Russell did not last long and before the over ended three wickets were down.

Man of the Match: No points in guessing this one! Pravin Tambe got his second MoM award of the season for his brilliant hattrick. He walked out of the ground with the stump as the memorabilia & his smile said it all. He also owns the Purple Cap being the highest wicket-taker (12) as on today.

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