A game-changing spell from Kuldeep Yadav, composed knocks in the run chase from Chris Lynn and Dinesh Karthik took Kolkata Knight Riders to their seventh win in the tournament with one game to go. Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, started pompously but faded off quickly once the spinners came into their own in the middle-overs. Here we rate the players from either side on a scale of 1-10.
Kuldeep Yadav - 10/10
The chinaman spinner has been far from his best this season of the IPL but with the dryness in the Eden wicket suiting him, Kuldeep sent down a game changing spell. From a position where everything seemed to be going Rajasthan Royals’ way, Kuldeep turned it around with a rip-roaring four wicket spell that accounted for the cream of Rajasthan's batting.
Andre Russell - 10/10
Andre Russell the bowler hasn't always been talked about but in the past few games, the West Indian all-rounder has donned a vital role with the ball for Karthik. With the likes of Tom Curran and Mitchell Johnson going haywire, Russell has stepped up to the task and showcased it once again at Eden with an economical three over spell where he also picked up two wickets.
Ben Stokes - 10/10
The real Ben Stokes for once turned up at Eden Gardens on Tuesday night, starting off his bowling spell with a maiden wicket over and stacking up his wickets column with a couple more. Although his batting woes remained, Stokes now has a performance to look back on and take inspiration from as he heads back to England for the Test series against Pakistan. His back of a length channel and pace variations had Kolkata Knight Riders in a tangle on a sticky wicket.
Jos Buttler - 9/10
Buttler started off with a bang and looked well set to notch up a record sixth half-century on the trot but fell to a meticulous Kuldeep soon after Ajinkya Rahane fell to the same bowler. The highlight of the Buttler-show was an over full of boundaries — four fours and two sixes — against Mavi.
Ish Sodhi - 9/10
With the pitch aiding slower bowlers, it was a no-brainer to bring back Ish Sodhi into the starting XI and the Kiwi justified his inclusion with a four over spell that was tight and forced KKR to work their way up to a paltry target. He broke the budding Rana-Lynn stand and opened up Kolkata's middle-order early in the innings.
Chris Lynn - 9/10
The Kolkata Knight Riders’ opener played an uncharacteristic knock, cutting out his wild bat swing and flamboyance to focus on holding together the Kolkata line-up to seal the run chase. Right when it seemed like Lynn had passed the test of the early overs, Stokes returned to prize him out with a slower ball.
Dinesh Karthik - 9/10
The Kolkata Knight Riders skipper would have gotten an all 10 if not for some terrible field placements he made in the early part of Rajasthan's innings. He let Buttler off the hook but compensated for the error with another unbeaten knock in a run chase. His 31 ball 41 all but put the result out of Rajasthan's grasp.
Sunil Narine - 8/10
The best pinch-hitter in the history of T20 cricket started off on a belligerent note, slamming Krishnappa Gowtham for four successive boundaries in the very first over but couldn't kick on from there as Stokes sent him back the next over. Earlier, Narine hadn't been his usual stifling self with the ball but did enough to dismiss an uncertain Sanju Samson.
Rahul Tripathi - 7/10
Dropped off the first ball of the innings, Tripathi was quick to overcome his nerves and kick-started Royals’ initial surge with an onslaught on Krishna that included a six and a hat-trick of fours in a 19 run over. He, however, fell to Russell off the hook shot.
Jaydev Unadkat - 6/10
With the pitch suiting his kind of bowling, Jaydev Unadkat, though wicketless, bowled with reasonable control and contained some fiery Kolkata batsmen. He, however, will need to start finding ways to pick up wickets if he is to remain in the side. His 26 with the bat, though, gave Rajasthan something to bowl at.
Nitish Rana - 5/10
With Narine and Robin Uthappa back in the hut early, Rana was left with the task of playing the sheet anchor role to a fired up Lynn. Rana looked composed during his 17 ball stay at the crease but was beaten by a turner from Ish Sodhi. Earlier, he put down a sitter off the first ball of the Rajasthan innings.
Prasidh Krishna - 4/10
The seamer appeared completely at crossroads with himself as he sent down a poor first over which lacked in pace and basic line and length. The shoddy bowling proved to be fodder for Tripathi, who slammed 19 from the over that included some spectacular shots around the wicket. To his credit, Prasidh came back and picked up a couple of wickets late in the innings.
Shivam Mavi - 3/10
The young 19-year-old started with a superb over where he almost had Tripathi off the first ball and zipped the ball through at searing pace. A poor field from Karthik meant he undid all hard work from that over in the next, when Buttler tonked him for an over full of boundaries. To his credit, Mavi returned to bowl two good overs to finish his day on a better note.
Jofra Archer - 2/10
The wicket taking option in the Rajasthan Royals’ line-up, Jofra Archer wasn't quite in his elements and leaked 43 in his four overs, all but sealing his franchise's fate in the match. Russell and Karthik took him on for 16 in the over that the hosts chased down the target.
Sanju Samson - 2/10
The flashy Kerala batsman continued to promise and fail as he got yet another start that ended up at nothing close to substantial. He was undone by a slider from Narine and was given out on review by KKR. He might need to revert back to the methods that worked for him at the start of the season.
Ajinkya Rahane - 1/10
After giving glimpses of returning to form in the previous match, Rahane made a complete mess of himself out there by going for an unnecessary reverse sweep off Kuldeep. The skipper ended up in no position to play the shot and saw his stumps being uprooted. His captaincy was equally absurd as his shot and he ended up having a dreadful night.
Anureet Singh - 1/10
For the second time this season, Anureet Singh found himself being brought into the playing XI but barely used with the ball. His sole over cost 10 and he was never turned to again by Rahane.
Krishnappa Gowtham - 1/10
The off-spinner opened the bowling yet again but had to contend with Narine in the mood for some slogging fun. The first four balls disappeared as Kolkata Knight Riders got off to a great start. Gowtham tried everything in his arsenal but found all of them dumped into the Eden stands. His two overs cost 32 runs and yielded zilch wickets.
Robin Uthappa- 1/10
Uthappa's woes against the short ball this season persisted as he chased another bumper from Ben Stokes to gift a catch to the deep square leg fielder awaiting. This was the sixth time the Kolkata lynchpin was being dismissed by the short ball this season.
Stuart Binny - 1/10
With his team in dire straits, Binny looked to play a Kuldeep googly across the line, completely missed the ball and was stumped by Karthik. With his bowling role minimal, Binny might want to start contributing more with the bat, particularly when he has time at the crease like yesterday.
*Shubman Gill and Javon Searles weren't rated because of their minimal role in the game.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor