Rajasthan 152-5 (20 overs)
Kolkata 152-8 (20 overs)
Toss: Rajasthan, chose to bat
Rajasthan: Rahane 72, Watson 33; Vinay 2-30, Shakib 1-23
Kolkata: Gambhir 45, Yadav 31; Faulkner 3-11, Tambe 2-31
Man of the match: James Faulkner (Rajasthan)
ABU DHABI // James Faulkner celebrated his 24th birthday with an excellent performance to guide Rajasthan Royals to a thrilling victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in a super over after scores were tied at 152.
The super over also ended in a tie with each team scoring 11 but Rajasthan were awarded the win on the boundary count, scoring 17 fours and a six against Kolkata’s 12 fours and a six.
Faulkner took three wickets in the second last over to turn the game around when Kolkata needed 16 runs to win from 12 balls. He then came in and bowled an excellent super over, conceding five singles and a six.
“I am going to sleep well tonight and I am sure the rest of the squad is going to as well,” Faulkner said.
“In all seriousness, this is my first super over, I have watched a few in T20 cricket before. I got hit for a pretty big six in that last over.”
Rajasthan have capped off their UAE sojourn on a high and move to third place in the IPL table behind the unbeaten Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
It means Rajasthan are well placed as the tournament shifts to India with the completion of five rounds played in the UAE.
The fans could not have wished for a better spectacle than the one produced last night at the Zayed stadium. Chasing 153 to win, Kolkata were 98 for five with captain Gautam Gambhir falling after coming good for 45 runs. Gambhir had one run in four games in the UAE before this.
Suryakumar Yadav (31 off 19) produced a cameo knock but became Faulkner’s first victim when Kolkata required 16 off the last two overs.
After Yadav’s dismissal to a skied shot, caught by Steven Smith at mid-on, Faulkner then bowled Robin Uthappa and Vinay Kumar in successive deliveries to take his figures to three for 11 from two overs and set up an exciting finish.
Shakib Al Hassan (29 not out off 18) and Sunil Narine (1 not out) took two runs off the final delivery from Kane Richardson to tie the game.
“To be able to come out on top of such a game is a nice feeling for us,” said the Kolkata captain Shane Watson, who batted the super over with Smith.
“I was just going to run as fast as I could. Steve [Smith] is calm under pressure. We just needed two. If you are on the wrong side of this [match], it can be disappointing as well.”
A dejected Gambhir said: “We deserve to be in a better position, all the games we have lost we were in positions we could have won.”
He said it was important that he finally found some form with the bat. “Someone has to try and be positive upfront, that is my job, and that has been my job the last three years. Hopefully from here on, I can be more aggressive at the top.”
Ajinkya Rahane had played the anchor role for Kolkata during their innings with a well-compiled 72 off 59 deliveries to guide them to 152 for five off their 20 overs.
‘IPL MATCHES Have COMMUNICATED JOY AND ENTHUSIASM OF THE UAE’
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development, has paid tribute to the Indian Premier League for creating a “bigger awareness” of the sport among fans in the country.
“We have been thrilled and excited watching these wonderful matches and we will be still following it when it returns to India,” said Sheikh Nahyan in an interview during the innings break in the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals last night at the Zayed Cricket stadium.
“The IPL matches have communicated the joy and the enthusiasm of the UAE.
“We have been thrilled with the exciting matches and we will be carefully watching our favourite teams when they continue playing in India.
“I’m confident that our international guests have felt comfortable in our community. The UAE has a sizeable population from every cricket-playing country in the world. They have been able to support their players.
“Almost 17 and a half per cent of the world, which is 10 million Indians, work and live in our country. They have contributed immensely to the development of the UAE.
“And they have retained their affection for cricket. The IPL here has reunited them with their native India, a very good friend of the UAE.
“We are grateful to the support of our leaders. The superb IPL teams have heightened the excitement for cricket in the UAE. Our country is anticipating a good showing from the UAE in the World Cup in 2015 in Australia and New Zealand.”
Sheikh Nahyan, who is also the chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board, said the wings of cricket have spread across the UAE and applauded Sunil Gavaskar (IPL chairman), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL franchises.
“They have given us eight international teams of sensational cricketers and enchanted us for 15 days,” he said.
“On our cricket pitches, we have seen vivid evidence of the skilled competitors performing as a global citizen. The rules of the game have guided behaviour. The spirit of the game has elevated behaviour.
“Competitors have shaken hands and left the field educated in their abilities. Players and fans alike have seen a way to a better world.
“I offer special greetings to all of you who have been associated with these matches. I applaud your commitment, perseverance and you love of the game.”
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