IPL 2021: Morris scripts six-wicket win for Royals against KKR
The South African quick snaps up four wickets to equal best figures in the competition
It was a contest between the basement dwellers and it was hard not to see why with both unable to piece things together. The Rajasthan Royals, who were bottom of the table, took on the Kolkata Knight Riders, second from bottom.
And it needed something really special to separate the two and that came in the form of Chris Morris. The South African quick, the most expensive player in IPL history, lived up to that billing with a clinical bowling performance on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old finished up with four for 23, equaling his best figures in the competition as the Rajasthan Royals worked off a six-wicket win, with seven balls to spare, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
After Morris and the others had kept KKR down to 133-9, captain Sanju Samson saw the chase through with an unbeaten 42 from 41 deliveries, which had two boundaries and a six. David Miller remained unbeaten on a 23-ball 24 with three fours.
Opener Yashasvi Jaisal, who had replaced Manan Vohra for this game, made 22 from 17 balls with five boundaries, while Shivam Dube, who had come ahead of Miller in the batting line-up, scored 22 from 18 with two fours and a six.
Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy took two for 32, while Shivam Mavi, who had replaced Kamlesh Nagarkoti, was economical in his one for 19 in four overs.
The Royals claimed only their second win to move from the foot of the table to sixth, while the Knight Riders suffered a fourth defeat on the trot to go rock bottom. They have now lost nine out of 10 matches at the Wankhede.
“We obviously took a pasting last game against a very good team and on a good surface. So to come out today (Saturday) and restrict them to that total is quite pleasing,” Morris told the host broadcaster.
We are quite privileged to be doing what we are doing. It is our responsibility to entertain people and keep them at home so they can watch cricket : @Tipo_Morris wants to do it for the fans world over. #VIVOIPL #RRvKKR pic.twitter.com/huxLHXtSw3— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 24, 2021
“When a guy gets a hundred and the other an 80, you just have to take your hat off and say well played. This happens in T20, it is a rude game and the last game was rude but today (Saturday) we looked to enjoy ourselves, we were a lot louder today (Saturday) and had a lot more smiles on the field.
“Our main motivation is what's happening around the world and we are privileged to entertain people. It is quite a big responsibility for us to put up entertainment for people watching at home,” he added.
Earlier, the Royals bowling attack, led by Morris, kept the Kolkata Knight Riders down to a low total of 133-9.
The only bright spots for the Knight Riders was a 26-ball 36 from Rahul Tripathi where he hit two sixes and a boundary, while Dinesh Karthik made 25 from 24 deliveries with four boundaries.
Andre Russell threatened at the back end when he smashed a six off Morris at the start of the 18th over but the 33-year-old had the measure of the West Indian yet again, getting him out for the fourth time in T20 cricket.
Put into bat, the Kolkata Knight Riders had more than a cautious start, going at a snail’s pace to reach 25 for one in the powerplay. Opener Shubman Gill was run out by Jos Buttler after scratching to a 19-ball 11 with one boundary.
Gill’s partner Nitish Rana too departed inside the first 10 overs after making 22 from 25 balls with a lone boundary and six. The Knight Riders were soon three down for 54 after pinch-hitter Sunil Narine was caught by Jaisawal off Jaydev Unadkat.
Captain Eoin Morgan's poor run continued as he was run out at the non-striker's' end by Morris. England’s World Cup-winning skipper was 43 runs adrift from reaching 7000 runs in T20s, heading into this game.
Karthik and Tripathi then came up with a 33-run stand for the fifth wicket after which the wicketkeeper-batsman put on 23 runs with Russell.
This was the last match for both teams in Mumbai with the Rajasthan Royals flying to New Delhi to lock horns with the Mumbai Indians, following a four-day break, on April 29. The Kolkata Knight Riders, meanwhile, head to Ahmedabad to take on the Punjab Kings on April 26.
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