Rajasthan Win On Boundary Count

Steve Smith
Steve Smith held his nerve to guide the Rajasthan Royals to victory
©REUTERS / Action Images

Rajasthan Royals 152-5 & 11-1 beat
Kolkata Knight Riders 152-8 & 11-2
Indian Premier League 2014, Abu Dhabi

It took a boundary count tie-break to separate the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Rajasthan Royals after their Indian Premier League 2014 match went to a Super Over, which was tied on 11 runs apiece in Abu Dhabi.

After Kolkata scored 11 from the final over of the match to reach 152 for eight in reply to Rajasthan's 152 for five, the Super Over was equally tense.

Kolkata made 11 for two but Rajasthan, needing three to win outright and two to win on countback, having scored 19 boundaries to Kolkata's 15 in the match to that point, held their nerve.

Steve Smith calmly worked the ball into the off-side and scampered through for the brace of runs that helped his side to a third win in this year's competition.

Batting first, Ajinkya Rahane led the way for the Royals with a fine innings of 72 in 59 balls with contributions also coming from Shane Watson (33 in 24) and Sanju Samson (20 in 19).

Smith gave the innings a flourish at the finish with 19 not out in 11 balls but his work with the bat was not quite done for the evening.

Gautam Gambhir put his appalling run of form behind him to score 45 in 44 balls and keep the Knight Riders in contention but after Manvinder Bisla (3), Jacques Kallis (13) and Manish Pandey (19) fell, so too did the captain to leave his side at 88 for four.

Suryakumar Yadav then struck 31 in 19 balls and Shakib Al Hasan an unbeaten 29 in 18 to turn the match on its head, but not before James Faulkner had almost won it outright for the Royals.

Brought back into the side after disappointing returns in his earlier outings, he dismissed Yadav, Robin Uthappa (0) and Ranganath Vinay Kumar (0) with the first, third and fourth balls of the 19th over to leave the 2012 champions needing 12 to win from the last six deliveries.

Piyush Chawla ran himself out but Shakib forced the Super Over along with Sunil Narine, unbeaten on one as Kane Richardson finished with one for 28.

Faulkner (3-11), Pravin Tambe (2-31) and Rajat Bhatia (1-29) were the oher wicket-takers.

Rajasthan turned to Faulkner to bowl the one-over eliminator and he kept Kolkata, who lost Yadav and Shakib to run outs at the start and the end, to 11 runs.

Knowing that they only needed to match that total, Rajasthan sent out Watson and Smith to take on Narine, and they produced exactly what was required.

After hitting four from the first three balls, Watson doubled that score in one stroke over midwicket, and another single left them needing two to win.

Some batsmen might have gone for a big shot to win the game outright, but Smith kept calm, showing that in a format that is so often all about blasting the ball as far as is possible, there is still a time and a place for a gentle nudge into an inviting gap.

© Cricket World 2014