Watto, Tambe Hat-trick Stun Kolkata - The New Indian Express

Watto, Tambe Hat-trick Stun Kolkata

Published: 05th May 2014 06:53 PM

Last Updated: 05th May 2014 10:30 PM

Surely, Rajasthan Royals and surprises go hand in hand. Skipper Shane Watson and his oldest war horse Pravin Tambe orchestrated perhaps the most incredible turnaround in T20 history on Monday as the Royals posted a 10-run win over a shell-shocked Kolkata Knight Riders.

Chasing 171, KKR collapsed from 121 for no loss in 14 overs to 123 for 6 within the space of nine deliveries!

When all seemed lost for RR, Watson brought himself on in the 15th over, picked up three wickets and Tambe promptly scripted a hat-trick in the 16th. The 43-year old leg-spinner actually took two wickets off one delivery as his first victim, Manish Pandey, was stumped off a wide. Yousuf Pathan was caught and bowled while Ryan Ten Doeschate, who had come in for Jacques Kallis, fell leg before.

              >> Gallery: Tambe Hat-trick Shocks Knights

The surprises did not end there. For Watson pulled himself out of the attack and then took up the responsibility of bowling the last over when their rivals needed 17. Coming round the stumps, he bowled a no ball! However, he was on the mark with his Yorkers to deny further twists in the tale and help register his side's fifth win.

When the Royals took the field, there was another surprise as debutant Rahul Tewatia, mentioned as a left-arm spinner even in the official IPL and RR websites, turned out to be a right-arm leg-spinner!

During the time, the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera did not exactly seem like the sweet 'home away from home' that the Royals wanted it to be. Instead, there was a fair amount of support for KKR, as openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa played their side into a great position.

Even though Tim Southee and Watson beat him early on, Uthappa appeared in good nick, playing some delightful shots. Skipper Gambhir strove hard to get going, opening out against Southee to pick up two boundaries over the top. Later, as his timing seemed to return, he grew in confidence and stepped out to hoist Rajat Bhatia over wide long on, even as the KKR hundred came up in the 13th over.

Gambhir was caught behind for 54 off 34 balls in Watson’s third over, to begin the slide for KKR. Andre Russell was bowled by a slower one after Uthappa holed out to deep backward square leg for a 52-ball 65 that included three sixes.

Earlier, the Royals lost a bit of steam in the middle overs, but still managed to post a challenging total. KKR’s slower bowlers – led by Sunil Narine (2 for 28) - pulled things back a little as RR made just 35 runs between overs 10 and 14.

Skipper Watson came in and blasted a couple of sixes and fours each in his 20-ball 31 to give a push to their scoring. They ended up making 54 runs in the last five overs, with Rajat Bhatia finishing the innings off with a six off the only ball he faced. Karun Nair made 44 off 35 while Sanju Samson chipped in with a 31-ball 37.

After KKR won the toss and opted to field first, Rajasthan openers Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair picked off loose deliveries either side of the stumps to share an opening stand of 52 runs.

Rahane got them going off the very first ball, flicking Vinay Kumar for four. With Umesh Yadav too straying in line, Rahane picked him up over long leg for the first six.

Rahane’s sweet innings of 30, off 22 balls, ended as Sunil Narine produced a direct hit from short fine leg.

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