Javinder Singh | cricket20
The Rajasthan Royals suffered a batting nightmare against the Kolkata Knight Riders who skittled out the visitors for a total of only 81 at Eden Garden in Kolkata.
With the exception of Ashok Menaria (21) the Royals batsman showed no signs of resistant’s as Lakshmipathy Balaji (15-3) and Shakib Al Hasan (21-2) tore through a fragile batting line up which was missing Rahul Dravid and John Botha.
The Royals lost their last 5 wickets in the space of just 14 deliveries after being put into bat by the Knight Riders who will now feel confident of chasing down such a low total to secure their third victory in this years tournament.
Shane Watson and Amit Paunikar got the innings off to a steady start with an opening stand of 24 before Balaji struck in the 4th over to remove Watson (11) with a perfect delivery which knocked the Aussies bails off.
Paunikar (15) quickly followed 6 deliveries later after he was stumped by Manvinder Bislar off the bowling of Iqbal Abdulla to leave the visitors 28-2.
The Royals hopes of recording a big total were dealt a further blow with the run outs of Faiz Fazal (3) and Abhishek Raut (11) as the Knight Riders took control of the game.
Fazal was the first to go after some brilliant fielding by Iqbal Abdulla off his own bowling before Raut was run out by Bislar after he was sent back by Ross Taylor who turned down a quick single to leave the Royals 43-4.
The Royals batting slump showed no signs of slowing down as Taylor (7), Ajinkya Rahane (6) and Menaria quickly joined their team mates back in the dugout after some impressive bowling from Baliji and Yusuf Pathan.
With the pressure mounting the Royals lower order suffered no better as they were blown away in the space of 7 deliveries as Amit Singh (0), Shaun Tait (0) and Siddharth Trivedi (0) offered little resistant.
The impressive Shakib Al Hasan struck twice to remove Singh and Tait in consecutive deliveries in the 15th over before Brett Lee uprooted Trivedi’s middle stump 2 deliveries later.