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Rajasthan Royals' juggernaut rolls on, Riders crash out of IPL

Kolkata, May 20 (UNI) Riding on a cracking unbeaten 48 off 18 balls by dashing Yusuf Pathan, Rajasthan Royals tonight decimated Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets paving the way for the host team to crash out of the IPL tourney ignominiously at the Eden Gardens here.

Yusuf's hurricane knock and Mohd Kaif's rocksolid 34 off 31 balls in an unbeaten fifth wicket partnership record of 81 runs in 40 balls put the last nail of the Riders' coffin and sealed the home side's slim chance of a berth in the Semi finals.

Yusuf's blitzkrieg was studded with five rollicking hits to the fence and three towering sixes and that made all the difference for the Kolkata team, for which tonight's battle was a 'battle of attrition.' Setting a target of 148 runs, the Kolkata Knight Riders went all out and Umar Gul spearheaded the bowling attack, spewing venom in his first spell returning to the pavilion Sohail Tanvir and the most dangerous Graeme Smith thereby providing the all important fightback to the home team.

At a time when Royals were tottering at 42 for three wickets, Riders again struck as Ganguly made a breakthrough returning to the pavilion another mercurial bat Shane Watson.

But Mohd Kaif and Yusuf defied all resistance and the latter clobbered the Riders bowlers to smithereens to ensure a facile victory for the Royals.

With this victory, Royals earned 18 points from eleven matches, while Kolkata team was miserably placed with ten points from 12 matches.

Royals only tasted defeat against Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians.


Story first published: Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 1:34 [IST]
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