back icon


5 factors that shaped another run-fest at Eden Gardens

Last updated on 16 Apr 2024 | 07:23 PM
Google News IconFollow Us
5 factors that shaped another run-fest at Eden Gardens

Here's a quick recap in case you missed the last-ball thriller between KKR and RR

RR’s well-thought strategy vs Salt…

Phil Salt came into this match on the back of an unbeaten 89 against Lucknow Super Giants, and his was the wicket Rajasthan Royals would have wanted as soon as possible. Rajasthan had a well-thought plan for the Kolkata Knight Riders’ wicketkeeper-batter.

Trent Boult and Avesh Khan hardly went full and kept targeting the stumps and his pads from the word go. They didn’t allow Salt to free his arms. Boult getting the new ball to swing made things more difficult. The right-hander scored 10 off 13 before Avesh took a stunning catch off his own bowling to send him back to the hut. 

… not so much against Narine

The pre-match planning worked against Salt, BUT NOT AGAINST SUNIL NARINE. RR’s experienced spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin tried to stay away from Narine’s hitting arc, targeting that wide line, but things didn’t go as planned.

Against Chahal and Ashwin, Narine whacked 67 off 28 deliveries. The left-hander operated at a strike rate of more than 250 on those deliveries outside off. That even led to him scoring almost 40% of his runs through the long-off region. Narine eventually finished with 109 off 56 deliveries - his maiden T20 ton. 

Lack of sixth bowling option finally hurts RR

Despite the Impact Player rule, RR have been playing with just five bowling options and at some stage it was going to hurt them. They have Riyan Parag in the top seven but the 22-year-old has been given just one over this season. The rest of them, well, they don’t bowl. 

They have also relied a lot on Chahal and Ashwin and this was the first time in this tournament both were taken to the cleaners. The two leaked 103 runs between them in eight overs, with Chahal even registering his most expensive figures in the IPL. 

Sanju Samson had no other options at his disposal and had to keep bowling the two spinners and Kuldeep Sen despite them not having a great evening.

Jos the Boss

Jos Buttler almost single-handedly helped Rajasthan pull off the joint-highest run-chase in the IPL. Chasing a target of 224, RR were 128/6 at the end of 14 overs. With 96 runs required from the last six overs, Buttler shifted gears and slammed Varun Chakaravarthy for four boundaries in an over. Before that over, RR’s win probability according to Criclytics was just 2 percent.

The Royals then needed 46 runs from the final three overs and apart from six wides, all runs came off Buttler’s bat. 18 off the 18th over, 19 off the 19th over, Buttler got the equation down to 9 off six deliveries. Chakaravarthy bowled the final over and Buttler finished the job on the final delivery. In the process, he also brought up his seventh IPL ton - the second most by a batter in this competition. 

Both of his centuries this season have come in the second innings, where he is averaging 220 in three innings, compared to 10 in the first innings. Last year it was completely different - 47.57 in the first innings and 8.43 in the second innings. 

Powell taking on in-form Narine

109 off 56 and 1/14 in three overs - Narine was having a night to remember till he came face to face against Rovman Powell. RR needed 62 runs from the last four overs and that’s when Narine came into the attack to finish his spell and probably the match. 

A tidy over would have knocked Rajasthan out of the contest but that’s when Powell stepped up and hit Narine for one four and two maximums in the space of three deliveries. He got out in the same over after scoring 26 off 13, but thanks to him, Buttler didn’t have to face Narine at that stage. 

Buttler got Mitchell Starc and Harshit Rana in the next two overs and had little trouble hitting them all around the park. Powell’s cameo might go unnoticed but if not for him taking on the best KKR bowlers, the result could have probably been different for RR.

Play Asli Fantasy on Download the App Now.

Related Article