Dubai: Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins captured four wickets to bowl Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to a 60-run win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their last league match of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and vaulted back to the fourth spot on the points table to still remain in contention for the playoffs.
KKR captain Eoin Morgan smashed 68 off 35 balls in the win that took KKR's points tally to 14 while RR finished the season at the eighth and last place with 12 points. Chennai Super Kings, who defeated Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) earlier on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, finished at the seventh spot. With the loss, KXIP too have crashed out of the eight-team tournament.
After putting a decent 191 for seven wickets in 20 overs on board, KKR defended the target with much ease, thanks to pacer Pat Cummins (4/34) stunning bowling effort. RR finished at 131 for nine wickets in 20 overs.
Leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Shivam Mavi bagged a couple of wickets each while speedster Kamlesh Nagarkoti settled with one to help their side garner a much needed win.
Chasing the target, RR suffered a top order collapse as half of the side was back in the dressing room with just 37 runs on board.
Four of the five KKR top-order batters -- Robin Uthappa (6), Ben Stokes (18), Steven Smith (4) and Riyan Parag (0) -- succumbed against Cummins, who was at his lethal best and shrugged off his rustiness with the ball.
Jos Buttler and Rahul Tewatia tried their best to avoid a defeat with their 35 and 31-run knocks respectively. The duo shared a 43-run partnership to raise little hope for their side before Chakravarthy dismissed Buttler in the 11th over.
KKR's mystery spinner struck again in the 15th over to get rid of Tewatia after which the lower-order fell like a pack of cards even as Shreyas Gopal chipped in an unbeaten 23 off 23 balls.
Ultimately, RR finished at 131/9 in 20 overs to suffer their eighth defeat of the season.
Earlier, captain Eoin Morgan's blistering 68 off 35 balls guided KKR, who were put to bat, to 191/7 in the allotted 20 overs. Morgan's innings contained five boundaries and six sixes.
Apart from Morgan, opener Shubman Gill and Rahul Tripathi chipped in with valuable 36 and 39 runs respectively.
The RR bowlers - Rahul Tewatia (3/25), Kartik Tyagi (2/36), Shreyas Gopal (1/44), and Jofra Archer (1/19) -- kept on jolting KKR at regular intervals. However, it was Morgan's gritty knock which propelled KKR to a decent total.
Andre Russell and Pat Cummins contributed with 25 and 15 runs respectively down the order as KKR finished at a challenging total on board.
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders: 191/7 in 20 overs (Eoin Morgan 68 not out, Rahul Tripathi 39; Rahul Tewatia 3/25) beat Rajasthan Royals: 131/9 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 35, Rahul Tewatia 31; Pat Cummins 4/34) by 60 runs. IANS