Rajasthan Royals 144-6 (Hodge 46no) beat
Kolkata Knight Riders 125 by 19 runs
Indian Premier League 2013, Jaipur
The topsy-turvy start to the indian Premier League 2013 continued as unfancied Rajasthan Royals beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 19 runs in Jaipur.
Brad Hodge scored an unbeaten 46 as the Royals made 144 for six but they then produced a fine bowling effort to dismiss the reigning champions for 125 in reply.
Their pace-dominated attack, led by Shaun Tait, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and Kevon Cooper, were too strong for Kolkata on a green-tinged pitch.
After the Knight Riders won the toss and chose to bat, Shane Watson made just five before was caught by Eoin Morgan off countryman Brett Lee.
Ajinkya Rahane then led the charge with 36 in 34 balls, including three fours and a six but in the meantime, Rahul Dravid (17) and Stuart Binny (14) fell to Rajat Bhatia and Laxmi Shukla respectively, and then Rahane was dismissed, caught behind by Manvinder Bisla as he tried to work Sunil Narine into the off side.
The experienced Brad Hodge drove Rajasthan on to their finishing score with an excellent 46 not out in 31 balls, including seven fours, although Narine struck again to have Kevon Cooper stumped without scoring and wicket-keeper Dishant Yagnik was run out for 16 in 11 balls having helped Hodge add 36 in quick time for the sixth wicket.
Narine finished with two for 28, Lee one for 20, Bhatia one for 21 and Shukla one for 14.
Shukla's namesake Rahul - no relation - then shook things up for Kolkata when he took the new ball and promptly bowled Bisla for one and had Jacques Kallis caught by Yagnik for nought in consecutive deliveries.
Manoj Tiwary (14) and Gautam Gambhir (22) tried to revive the flagging innings but both fell in Siddharth Trivedi's opening over, the former trapped in front as he played all round a straight one and Gambhir briliantly caught by Yagnik as he went on the charge.
43 for four quickly became 44 for five when Yusuf Pathan hung his bat outside off stump and was caught by Yagnik off Cooper. Laxmi Shukla was then caught by Rahul Shukla for two but at the other end, Morgan was leading a lone battle for victory, crunching Trivedi for six over midwicket and drilling Shukla through the covers.
When Bhatia (12) tried to take on the returning Shaun Tait he connected well, but not well enough to clear Stuart Binny at deep midwicket and Lee fell soon after, caught by Shukla off Sreesanth for five.
Morgan smashed on, hitting Tait for six over his shoulder to reach a 35-ball half-century to leave the Knight Riders needing 23 to win in 12 balls. However, the Englishman lasted only one run more, suffering an undignified exit when he tried a similar shot off Cooper, succeeding only in bottom-edging the ball onto his stumps.
The end came when ShamI Ahmed (5) was caught by Rahane off Cooper, who ended with three for 15. Trivedi took three for 23, Shukla two for 28, Sreesanth one for 25 and Tait one for 29.
© Cricket World 2013
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