Buttler’s unbeaten century powers RR to a thrilling victory

Kolkata, (UNI) Jos Buttler’s brilliant unbeaten century, accompanied by Ryan Parag’s quickfire innings and Rovman Powell’s valuable contribution, played crucial roles in registering a two-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the 31st match of IPL 2024 at Eden Gardens here on Tuesday.

This was Rajasthan’s sixth win in seven matches and it remains on top in the points table.

Rajasthan, who came to chase the target of 224 runs, had a very bad start and lost the wicket of opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (19) in the very second over. After that captain Sanju Samson (12) also returned to the pavilion. Riyan Parag scored (34) runs in 14 balls, hitting four fours and two sixes.

Dhruv Jurel (2), Ravi Ashwin (8), Shimron Hetmyer (0) and Rovman Powell (2) were out after scoring runs. Powell scored 26 runs in 13 balls.

Buttler led his team to victory by scoring an unbeaten century of 107 runs hitting nine fours and six sixes in 60 balls.

For Kolkata, Harshit Rana, Sunil Naraine and Varun Chakraborty took two wickets each. Vaibhav Arora dismissed one batsman.

Earlier, Narine played a fantastic innings to score a century and helped Kolkata set a 224-run target for Rajasthan.

The match had an intense start with KKR losing an early wicket. Avesh Khan got Phil Salt caught and bowled for 10 in the fourth over of the game. Bowling first after winning the toss seems to have been a good decision by Sanju Samson considering the early breakthrough the team got.

Narine played a pivotal role in stabilising the innings after Salt’s early loss. Adding 85 runs with Angkrish Raghuvanshi provided KKR with a solid partnership to build their innings upon. However, losing Raghuvanshi’s wicket to Kuldeep Sen was another crucial moment in the match.

Raghuvanshi made a valuable contribution with his quickfire 30 runs off just 18 balls, including five boundaries. His partnership with Narine was crucial in accelerating the run rate for KKR.

However, losing the wickets of Captain Shreyas Iyer and Andre Russell relatively cheaply caused setbacks for the team. Yuzvendra Chahal got Shreyas out LBW, and Russell departing after scoring 13 runs shifted the momentum a bit. Despite these setbacks, Narine’s outstanding century propelled KKR to a formidable total.

Narine scored 109 in just 49 balls, featuring 13 boundaries and six maximums, and played a pivotal role in KKR posting a challenging total of 223 runs for six wickets in their 20 overs.

A quickfire innings from Rinku Singh towards the end, scoring 20 runs off just nine balls, gave KKR total an extra boost. Ramandeep Singh’s unbeaten one-run also added to the total.

Chasing 224 runs, RR have a daunting task ahead of them. It will require a collective effort from their batsmen to achieve this target. With the likes of Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, and other talented players in their lineup, they certainly have the potential to make a match out of it.

Avesh Khan and Kuldeep Sen took two wickets each, and Trent Boult and Yuzvendra Chahal chipped in with one wicket each. It will be interesting to see if RR can successfully chase down the target of 224 runs.

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