A centurion and a hat-trick. Both in the same match. Both for the same team. Yet Rajasthan Royals were pushed to the brink by Kolkata Knight Riders in a thrilling finish to their IPL 2022 contest at the Brabourne Stadium on Monday night. Chasing 218, KKR imploded to be bowled out for 210 in 19.4 overs with RR securing a seven-run win – their fourth victory of the season which pushed them to the second spot on the points table.
Jos Buttler’s dream season just got a bit better after he knocked the stuffing out of a quality KKR attack with a magnificent second IPL hundred to power Rajasthan Royals to an imposing 217 for five. And then when KKR were cruising along nicely, legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal produced an incredible over to take four wickets in it including a hat-trick off its final three deliveries to knock the winds out of KKR’s sails.
Chasing the imposing target, KKR lost their first wicket to a horrible run out off the very first delivery with Sunil Narine walking back without scoring and facing a single delivery. The non-existent single was Aaron Finch’s call but the Australian redeemed himself with a blistering half-century – 58 off 28 – to put KKR’s chase on track.
Captain Shreyas Iyer then took over and put them in a comfortable position with 85 off 50 before he became the first wicket to fall in Chahal’s route to completing a hat-trick in the 17th over.
In fact, it was a remarkable over which began with Chahal dismissing Venkatesh Iyer on 6 to bring himself on the verge of a hat-trick having dismissed Nitish Rana with the final delivery of his previous over. Sheldon Jackson saw through the hat-trick delivery.
Then Chahal trapped Shreyas Iyer lbw and then had Shivam Mavi hole out for a first-ball duck to give himself another chance at the feat. And this time, he roared loudly with Pat Cummins getting an outside edge to be out caught-behind for a golden duck.
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