Rajasthan Royals prevails over Knight Riders after the match ends in a tie in Super Over too

James Faulkner could not have had a better birthday.

First, he castled Robin Uthappa and R. Vinay Kumar but didn’t complete a hat-trick.

Entrusted with the ball for the Super Over, after Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders were tied at 152, the left-arm paceman limited the Knight Riders to 11 for two.

In response, the Royals, with Shane Watson and Steven Smith holding fort, posted 11 for no loss, again ending the Super Over showdown in a tie, but sneaked to victory on a better boundary count.

Manvinder Bisla didn’t launch himself and his side, as he would in the past, caught in the slips by Karun Nair off Richardson. Kallis, fortunate to be called back, after Shane Watson was found over-stepping, couldn’t capitalise on that chance, holing out to long off Faulkner, not much later.

Gambhir is back

Gautam Gambhir, who has had a string of batting failures thus far, led from the front if not the start, button-holing the bowlers.

Just when a big knock seemed imminent, the Kolkata captain swept the crafty Rajat Bhatia only to be caught at square leg by Iqbal Abdullah.

It seemed a tall task for the Knight Riders with four overs to go and 42 runs to be got.

Stepping up to the plate was Surya Kumar Yadav, who heaved Watson from outside the off for a six and then cut a four.

Shakib Al Hasan got into the groove too, smacking two successive boundaries off Richardson. The Royals batted first on winning the toss and reached a sizeable 152 for five. Sanju Vishwanadh seemed to be shaping up well when the game got going.

The wicket-keeper smacked four boundaries in one Morne Morkel over. After the youngster played on to Shakib Al Hasan, the onus returned to Ajinkya Rahane, from whom the Rajasthan side drew strength, the opener’s contributions to the cause quite consistent almost always.

The opener combined with Watson to steadily build up the innings. The duo went neck to neck in scoring boundaries, Rahane outshining his skipper with a six off Vinay Kumar.

Shakib got his palm to the ball but was unable to stop its passage over the ropes.

The Royals skipper departed, after he lost the race to the crease with a throw from sweeper Manish Pandey to Bisla.

Rahane’s 59-ball 72, adorned with half a dozen boundaries and a six, was the backbone of Rajasthan’s batting, ensuring the bowlers didn’t take the upper hand. Not until the very end did he get ambitious, his pull picked up at long on by Yadav off Vinay Kumar.

The Royals replaced Tim Southee with James Faulkner and Abhishek Nayar with Abdullah. Into the Kolkata squad came Manvinder Bisla for Yusuf Pathan, Shakib for Chris Lynn and Vinay for Umesh Yadav.

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