Jaipur, Steve Smith’s laborious 58-ball unbeaten 72 propelled Rajasthan Royals to a modest 139/3 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, here on Sunday.
The Kolkata bowlers were not amongst the wickets, but they bowled in a disciplined manner at an impressive economy rate to restrict their opponents to an average total.
Apart from Smith, Jos Buttler chipped in with 37 as the two stitched a crucial second wicket stand of 72 runs.
Put into bat, Rajasthan lost skipper Ajinkya Rahane (5) in the second over as Prasidh Krishna trapped him in front of the wicket. Butler and Smith then joined hands to deny Kolkata any further inroads, but their slow innings hurt Rajasthan’s chances of putting up a big total.
With both the batsmen looking well-settled, Harry Gurney finally delivered the breakthrough by dismissing Buttler with the Rajasthan scoreboard reading 77/1 in 11.5 overs.
Smith was then joined by Rahul Tripathi (6) and the duo took their side past the 100-run mark but the latter didn’t last long as Gurney struck again in the 16th over.
Smith anchored the Rajasthan innings from one end but didn’t get much support. After Tripathi’s departure, Smith kept the scoreboard ticking and added 19 runs in the next 13 balls as Rajasthan managed to reach 139 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
For Kolkata, Gurney picked up two wickets while Krishna settled for one.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 139/3 (Steve Smith 72 not out, Jos Buttler 37; Harry Gurney 2/25) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.