TATA IPL 2024 Match 31 , KKR Vs RR – Match Report

TATA IPL 2024 Match 31 , KKR Vs RR – Match Report

In one of the great matches in TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) history, Rajasthan Royals (RR) equalled their own record of the highest successful chase in the tournament – overhauling 224 against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). It was an occasion at the Eden Gardens as two icons of the IPL mesmerized the cricket world with performances for the ages. To begin with, Sunil Narine smashed a remarkable century – his first in the TATA IPL. As RR seemed to lose their way during their pursuit of a tall 224, Jos Buttler held his own and shifted gears with the odds stacked against him. His seventh IPL century, the second of the season, powered RR to a historic two-wicket victory. 

Following a promising partnership for the fourth wicket between Riyan Parag and Buttler, RR seemed hopeful of chasing 224. However, wickets at regular intervals ensured they were 128 for six in 14 overs, with the boundaries drying up. Buttler was on 42 off 33 balls with Rovman Powell at the other end. 

The two batters then began an assault that saw the ball disappear to all parts of the ground. The next two overs disappeared for 17 runs apiece. Narine came on to bowl with 62 needed off 24. Powell welcomed him with a four and two sixes before Narine trapped him leg-before. At 178 for seven in 17 overs, it looked like KKR’s match.

Buttler now had to do the job on his own, and in an attempt to keep strike, Trent Boult was run-out in the next over. With only Avesh Khan for company, Buttler took matters into his own hands and kept the strike. He managed to hit a boundary off Mitchell Starc and RR were awarded five-wides as the bowler missed his mark. 

Harshit Rana came on for the penultimate over with 28 to defend. Buttler milked 19 out of it with two huge sixes and a four. Off the last ball, he managed to take a single and retain strike. Varun Chakaravarthy came on for the last over with nine to get. Buttler hit the first one over long-on for a massive six to get to his century. RR’s win looked like a foregone conclusion. 

Chakaravarthy made it interesting as he bowled three consecutive dot balls to a tiring Buttler. With three to get off two balls, Buttler hit to long-off and pushed Avesh for two. The winning runs were achieved off the last ball as RR celebrated a monumental triumph. When KKR batted and completed their innings before a supportive home crowd, this looked like an unlikely result. 

On a ground that Narine has made home for over a decade, it was fitting that he got to his first T20 century at the Eden Gardens. The celebration in front of an adoring crowd and fellow teammates and management made the occasion extra special. This season, Narine has been in great form with the bat. Earlier, he scored 85 against Delhi Capitals – his highest in T20 cricket. Today, he went past that in fine style . 

Having been put in to bat, KKR would have been confident of scoring big. Phil Salt got a reprieve in the first over when he hit the second ball to point where Riyan Parag dropped a regulation chance. However, Salt’s luck ran out in the third over when he hit one back off Avesh Khan, who took a brilliant return catch diving to his left while completing his follow-through. 

Narine put on a show from the outset. There wasn’t a brutality to his innings, but rather some nonchalance. If it was full, he used his full range and drove through the ball – lofting it over the field. When pitched a bit short, he was ready to make room and cart it.

At the other end, Angkrish Raghuvanshi essayed classy shots on his way to 30 off 18 balls with five fours. It was in contrast to Narine’s more nonchalant and free-stroking modern approach. 

In tandem, they added 85 off only 43 balls with Narine taking the charge, ably supported by Raghuvanshi. Narine got to his fifty in the 10th over as he hit R Ashwin for a six down the ground – getting to the milestone in only 30 balls. Raghuvanshi was dismissed soon after when he upper-cut Kuldeep Sen to third-man. 

The next few overs were dominated by Narine – who only got more aggressive past his fifty. The boundaries kept flowing off his bat, and the possibility of a century looked good. Shreyas Iyer and Andre Russell were literally reduced to a support role as Narine took centre-stage. When Yuzvendra Chahal, the current Purple Cap holder, was brought on for the 16th over, there was an air of anticipation as Narine was on 79. 

Narine then smashed two sixes and two fours in the over to race away to his maiden T20 century. He achieved it by hitting a four through wide long-on as Eden Gardens cheered on vociferously. Russell fell soon after and Narine was castled for 109 by a fantastic yorker by Boult. Rinku Singh’s cameo of 20 off nine balls in the slog overs propelled KKR to 223. 

On most days, that score would have been enough but not when someone like a Buttler decides to showcase his greatness as a T20 batter.  


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