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Rajasthan Royals complete IPL’s biggest run chase to beat KKR by 2 wickets | Cricket News


Jos Buttler gleefully swung his bat en route to a 60-ball 107 and single-handedly took Rajasthan Royals to a sensational two-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders, completing the IPL’s biggest run chase on Tuesday . Asked to bat first, Sunil Narine’s 109 from 56 balls propelled KKR to a formidable 223/6 in front of a packed Eden Gardens. But Buttler had other ideas as he dragged the Royals, dead and buried, to 121/6 in the 13th over, beyond the target of 224 off the last ball of the match after the visitors needed 46 runs in the over the last three overs and 28 in 12 balls. Batting first on a new pitch, Narine flew to a 49-ball 100 to lead KKR’s charge in this top-of-the-table clash.

Trent Bolt eventually got the better of Narine, but not before the opener had bludgeoned 13 fours and six sixes, displaying supreme confidence and skill against one of the best attacks in the IPL .

It was a one-man show from KKR as Narine batted until the 18th over, first stitching 85 runs with Angkrish Raghuvanshi (30) and then adding 51 runs with Andre Russell (13).

However, Buttler had the last laugh as Narine’s maiden T20 hundred went in vain.

England’s white-ball captain, who had missed the previous match due to an issue, anchored the chase with utmost accuracy, hitting nine fours and six sixes in total.

Wickets continued to fall at the other end and RR were reduced to 186/8 in the 18th over, but Buttler showed little nerve.

Needing 28 from the last two overs, Buttler had to be calculating and that’s exactly what he did as he smashed Harshit Rana for 19 runs while facing all his deliveries.

The destructive Englishman raced towards his century by hitting Varun Chakravarthy for a six off the first ball of the final over.

He refused to take a single to guard the backs, but got the job done on the last ball.

It was the highest run chase in IPL history. Previously, the Royals revised their target to 224 runs against Punjab Kings in Sharjah in 2020.

The victory consolidated the Royals’ position at the top of the table with 12 points at the halfway point of the league, four ahead of KKR.

The IPL’s most expensive buy, Mitchell Starc, once again proved rusty with the ball, giving 0/50 and in his 18th over, he conceded 18 runs.

Earlier, not only did Narine break through the field with ease, but he also unleashed a relentless attack on R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Having reached fifty in 29 balls, the Trinidadian took just 20 deliveries to reach his maiden century, pulling Chahal to the midwicket boundary.

Wearing a crisp white T-shirt, team owner Shah Rukh Khan blew a flying kiss from the stands.

On the field, his West Indies teammate Russell jumped for joy, giving him a bear hug as Narine waved his bat in hushed celebration.

Ultimately, it took a Boult special to end Narine’s innings as the Kiwi left-arm pacer hit a perfect yorker that also broke leg stump, causing some delay in the middle.

With Narine taking center stage, the Royals spinners had a bad day. Ashwin gave away four runs wide and conceded 49 runs from his four overs, while Chahal returned with figures of 1/54 of his full quota.

Later, Rinku Singh’s nine-ball 20 not out with two sixes and a four took the total past 200 as KKR scored 62 runs in the last five overs.

Avesh Khan (2/35) and Boult (1/31) were the picks of the Royals bowlers. Kuldeep Sen (2/46) also picked two.

Riyan Parag dropped a sitter from in-form England opener Phil Salt on the second ball of the match.

The fall did not cost the Royals much as Salt, who scored an unbeaten 89 against Lucknow Super Giants, retired for 10 thanks to Avesh Khan’s one-handed return.

But some sloppy play early on seemed to have an impact as Narine and young Raghuvanshi seized the momentum from the powerplay.

Raghuvanshi’s exquisite timing was on full display as he slammed Boult for three boundaries in the fifth over.

Narine took charge against Sen with a monstrous six over deep midwicket and followed it up with a boundary in a 16-run over, as KKR made it 56 for 1 in the powerplay.

Narine quickly shifted gears, smashing Chahal over long-on and, in the next over, produced an even greater success in the same region to reach his half-century in 29 balls.

The duo took KKR to 100/1 at mid-off before Raghuvanshi threw away his wicket, mistiming a top cut. But Narine continued the assault to support KKR.

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