Tambe, Watson Bowl Rajasthan To Victory
Rajasthan Royals 170-6 (Nair 44) beat
Kolkata Knight Riders 160-6 by 10 runs
Indian Premier League 2014, Ahmedabad
Pravin Tambe took a hat-trick and Shane Watson also took three wickets as the Rajasthan Royals took six wickets in eight balls to claim a 10-run Indian Premier League 2014 victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders in Ahmedabad.
The Knight Riders, riding on the back of a century partnership between openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa, looked to be cruising towards a target of 171 before they collapsed dramatically.
They slipped from 121 without loss to 123 for six and could not recover, eventually finishing on 160 for six in reply to Rajasthan's 170 for six.
Tambe, who had Manish Pandey stumped, Yusuf Pathan caught and bowled and Ryan ten Doeschate trapped in front, picked up the first hat-trick of the season and figures of three for 26.
Watson (3-21) took the other three wickets to fall and bowled the final over, keeping Kolkata to six runs when they had needed an unlikely 17 to win.
Uthappa had struck 65 in 52 balls (five fours, three sixes) and Gambhir 54 in 34 balls (six fours, one six) as the pair looked to be setting a platform for a comfortable win.
However, once their partnership, Kolkata's best opening stand in the IPL, was broken, the game turned on its head.
Watson had used six bowlers inside the first eight overs as he tried to stem the flow of runs but it was his own arm that eventually did the trick.
From the first ball of the 15th over he had Gambhir caught behind by Sanju Samson and two balls later, Uthappa needlessly took him on and was caught in the deep by Rajat Bhatia.
Andre Russell, promoted to three, was sent back with the fifth ball after being clean bowled.
In came Tambe, and seeing Manish Pandey giving him the charge, shot one down the leg-side and Samson did the rest for a stumping and leg-side wide.
Yusuf Pathan's first ball was drilled back to Tambe for a caught and bowled and the hat-trick was complete when ten Doeschate was struck on the pad as he tried to come forward to the leg-spinner.
Shakib Al Hasan had been watching most of this from the non-striker's end and although he tried to rally his side to victory, closing on 21 not out in 14 balls, he had been left with too much to do.
Even with James Faulkner and Watson overstepping, the Royals had got themselves into a winning position and unlike the Knight Riders, were not about to let it slip.
Suryakumar Yadav finished unbeaten on nine.
Earlier, the Rajasthan top order performed solidly, the top four all scoring 30 or more to set up a competitive total.
Karun Nair top scored with 44, Samson made 37 in 31 balls, Watson 31 in just 20 and Ajinkya Rahane 30 in 22.
Vinay Kumar (2-42), Sunil Narine (2-28) and Shakib (1-25) were the wicket-taker.
During the innings, Russell feigned as if to pull out of bowling only to continue. Watson let the ball go and was not best pleased at the delivery being declared legal.
However, by the end of the day, he and his team had the last laugh.
© Cricket World 2014