The Kolkata Knight Riders reached the top position in the points table in IPL 2018. They defeated Rajasthan Royals by all-round performance of Nitish Rana. This win gifted Rana the man of the match award and KKR the dominance in the IPL 2018. Rana scored 34 runs off 27 balls and managed to pick wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and D’Arcy Short in the first innings. The KKR won 6 points from 5 games.
To get an easy win for the team, the captain Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana managed to add unbeaten 61 runs off 38 balls to register a 7 wicket victory against the hosts at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur.
Following the foot-steps of KKR, Rajasthan Royals called the off-spinner Krishnappa Gautham to bowl with the new ball. This move proved to be fruitful and Gautam managed to dismiss Chris Lynn and Lynn was followed by Robin Uthappa. Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa made some impressive work by hitting a few boundaries and sixes. Before Narine departed run out, this pair managed to make a 49-run stand.
Within a while, Robin Uthappa was dismissed by Gautam when trying to hit a six. Then, Nitish Rana came into the crease to support skipper Dinesh Karthik to make an impressive performance. The duo began to make as many singles and twos and thrashed Jayadev Unadkat with one six each in a single over to make 17 runs in 16th over when the team needed 34 runs off 4 overs at that time. This over made the win of KKR easier.
Earlier, KKR won the toss and chose to bat and Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla started working with the new ball. Then, Sunil Narine came to bowl in the 4th over and was thrashed by Ajinkya Rahane and D’Arcy Short. This duo made 54 runs off 41 balls for the first-wicket stand. Nitish Rana succeeded to break the opening partnership and the spinners of KKR succeeded in taking wickets at the regular intervals. Tom Curran picked two wickets in two consecutive balls in the 19th over. Shivam Mavi dismissed Sanju Samson and Piyush Chawla picked the wicket of Ben Stokes.
The KKR stood at the top position in the points table with the net run rate of 0.825 off 5 games followed by Sunrisers Hyderabad with 0.722.
Rajasthan Royals 160/8 in 20 overs, Ajinkya Rahane 36, D’Arcy Short 44, Nitish Rana 1/11, Tom Curran 2/19, Piyush Chawla 1/18, Kuldeep Yadav 1/23
Kolkata Knight Riders 163/3 in 18.5 overs, Sunil Narine 35, Robin Uthappa 48, Nitish Rana 34*, Dinesh Karthik 42* K Gautam 2/23
KKR won the match by 7 wickets.