Kolkata Knight Riders who were being considered underdogs before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, for having one of the least experienced sides in the tournament have stunned everyone with their solid performances right from the start of the cash-rich league. Dinesh Karthik was once again stupendous with his remarkable leadership as he cruised KKR to second straight victory against the Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur to break their winning streak and sit on top of current IPL table.
Karthik who finished off things in style for Kolkata Knight Riders with a last-ball six was also instrumental behind the wickets. He left everyone stunned when he stumped a dangerous looking Ajinkya Rahane to get the first breakthrough for his side. A seemingly bemused Rajasthan Royals skipper had stepped out to play a big shot against Nitish Rana but couldn’t track back as an active Dinesh Karthik just like his Indian teammate MS Dhoni, in a matter of few seconds grabbed the ball after taking off one of his gloves and got the bails off before Rahane could have made it back.
Yet again it was Nitish Rana who was handed the ball by his skipper at a crucial point in the game when the Rajasthan Royals openers Ajinkay Rahane and D Arcy Short were going strong. Rana drew the first blood for his side in form of Rahane and went on to clean up D Arcy Short in the 13th over to bring KKR back into the game. After showing his brilliant wicket-keeping skills Karthik came back to lead by example with the bat and scored the winning runs for his team.
After Chris Lynn’s departure, Sunil Narine 35(25) and Robin Uthappa 48(36) put up a 69 runs stand to steady the ship for KKR, before Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana carried them over the finish line. Dinesh Karthik played a superb knock of 43 runs on 23 balls and ensured his side was on to a second straight victory after a thumping 71 runs victory against the Delhi Daredevils in the previous encounter.