Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals' players combined to hand Kolkata Knight Riders an embarrassing 22-run loss in the Indian Premier League match here on Sunday.
After posting a target of 158, propelled by Brad Hodge's 44, the bowlers came out to wreck the top-order of Kolkata. Three wickets fell in three balls of between the second and third overs. Jacques Kallis (5), Brendon McCullum (2) and Gautam Gambhir (0) fell in a heap despite their famed reputations.
While youngsters Ankeet Chavan and Amit Singh did the early damage, the other bowlers maintained a tight line by T20 standards to keep the pressure up.
It was only Manoj Tiwary who, supported at the very end by Brett Lee, managed to reach a respectable individual score but it was not enough as his side lost their second match on the trot.
Earlier in the day, Royals themselves found batting on the slightly tougher side but managed to set a reasonable target.
After being put into bat by Gambhir, the hosts were shocked when the Kolkata skipper ran Ajinkya Rahane out early. Rahane left without scoring a run despite his brilliant 98 from the previous match against Kings XI Punjab. Rahul Dravid at the other end though, was steady.
Dravid's 26 came off 24 balls and was more suited to an ODI innings. His two boundaries and as many shots beyond were however, sublime. It could have been better but like Rahane, Dravid too was caught short of his crease in the seventh over of the day, with the score on 44.
A couple of good innings from here on bolstered Royals but the rate of scoring was not furious until the end. Shreevats Goswami had 23 off 18 while Ashok Maneria had 40 runs off 30, cutting lose towards the end. Owais Shah came in with a few overs left and helped himself to 23 off 11 to take his side to 164/5.