Royals hold off Knight Riders
Jaipur - Australian batsman Brad Hodge smashed 44 off 29 balls and fast bowler Amit Singh grabbed two wickets in as many balls to lead Rajasthan Royals to a comfortable 22-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.
Hodge was the biggest contributor to the Royals' competitive total of 164-5 with Ashok Maneria adding an invaluable 40.
Manoj Tiwary fought a lone battle and scored 59 off 49 balls before he was the last man to go as the Knight Riders were dismissed for 142 in 20 overs.
The Knight Riders were forced to play a catch-up game after Singh removed Jacques Kallis and captain Gautum Gambhir off successive deliveries and left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan made it 8-3 by having Brendon McCullum plumb leg before wicket.
It was the Royals' second successive win, having beaten Kings XI Punjab in the first match while Knight Riders lost the second game in a row after Delhi Dare Devils won their rain-shortened match.
Hodge and Maneria rebuilt the Royals' innings at a good pace after both openers - captain Rahul Dravid (26) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) - were run out.
Yousuf Pathan was hammered for 28 runs in two overs with Hodge twice lifting the off-spinner for big sixes in one over as the pair added 64 runs for the fourth wicket off 45 balls.
The Royals' West Indian signing Kevon Cooper, who took four wickets in his IPL debut match against the Kings XI Punjab, chipped in with three wickets that included Brett Lee (25) and Sunil Narine off consecutive deliveries.
Rajasthan Royals 164-5 in 20 overs (Brad Hodge 44, Ashok Maneria 40; Brett Lee 2-29) def. Kolkata Knight Riders 142 in 20 overs (Manoj Tiwary 59, Brett Lee 25; Kevon Cooper 3-28, Ankeet Chavan 2-23, Siddharth Trivedi 2-25, Amit Singh 2-30)
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