One run from four innings including three successive zeroes will soon be forgotten, for Gautam Gambhir spent a reasonable amount of time at the crease and scored 45 on Tuesday.
His efforts were just about enough for the Kolkata Knight Riders to reach Rajasthan Royals’ 152/5, as the match ended in a tie, forcing a Super Over. Batting first, Kolkata scored 11/2. Rajasthan also scored the same number of runs, winning the match on the basis of boundary count.
Earlier, Gambhir must be a relieved man, having got those runs, though scratchy in the beginning. As they say, it was a matter of one innings, spending a reasonable time in the middle, see through the initial overs and the confidence will be back. That was exactly what the left-handed Gambhir did and in the company of the highly experienced Jacques Kallis, though for a brief while won back his self belief. Gambhir fell to a catch in the deep when he swept Rajat Bhatia in the 14th over.
After choosing to bat, Rajasthan Royals rode on a classy 72 by opener Ajinkya Rahane as they posted a fighting total. While Rahane anchored the innings with proper cricketing shots getting his runs off 59 balls, skipper Shane Watson hit a few lusty blows to score 33 off 24 balls as the two shared 64 runs in 7.3 overs for the third wicket.
Rahane’s innings had six boundaries and a six. The manner in which he paced the innings was praiseworthy. When Watson and before that Samson went after the bowlers, he dropped anchor getting those singles along with the odd boundaries. Once he got his half-century, he opened up, pulling R Vinay Kumar for a six. For KKR, Shakib al Hasan (1/23) and Sunil Narine (0/28) had a decent outing. Kumar (2/30) was the most successful bowler for KKR. Karun Nair’s (1) struggle in this format continued as he tried to give his state captain Vinay the charge and saw delivery cutting back into clip the leg bail.
Sanju Samson (20) got four boundaries off Morkel in the final over of Power Play but was out in a freak manner. The talented Kerala youngster got on to the back foot as Shakib bowled a fuller delivery. The ball hit his pads and rolled onto the stumps.
Rahane hit crisp fours and also got one when a thick edge off a rising delivery from Morkel flew over the slip cordon. When Chawla was introduced into the attack, Rahane played a copybook sweep shot to get a boundary when the bowler pitched one outside the leg-stump.