IPL 2019 Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals Match 43: Kolkata captain Dinesh Karthik roared back to form in a grand style as he plundered Rajasthan bowlers to all parts of the ground on Thursday. During match 43 in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), Karthik justified his World Cup spot selection with a whirlwind knock off unbeaten 97 off just 50 balls against Rajasthan Royals. His blistering innings was studded with seven boundaries and nine huge maximums. (SCORECARD)

The 33-year-old Karthik is one of the most experienced wicketkeeper-batsman in the scheme of things. He led the Knight Riders into the playoffs in 2018 and would be determined to go one step further towards the coveted silverware in the 2019 edition. The best shot of Karthik’s innings came on the first ball of the 12th over off Jofra Archer’s bowling. On a short of a length delivery around his hips, the veteran batsman played the flick so strongly off his pads that the ball kept sailing over backward square leg for a six.

WATCH KARTHIK’S NATARAJA STYLE SIX HERE:


Earlier, Rajasthan skipper Steve Smith won the toss and elected to field first against Kolkata at the Eden Gardens. KKR, who have lost five games in a row, made two changes to the side that lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad, bringing in Prasidh Krishna in place of KC Cariappa while Carlos Brathwaite replaced Harry Gurney. Bottom-placed Royals, who lost to Delhi Capitals in their last encounter, drafted in Oshane Thomas in place of Ashton Turner with Dhawal Kulkarni making way for Varun Aaron.

Speaking at the toss, Dinesh Karthik said: “It’s got a lot of grass cover on it and it’ll be a great batting wicket. One of the things is to keep right people in the right space. It’s very important that we get the best out of the players who are doing well. Prasidh comes in for KC Cariappa. Brathwaite comes in for Gurney.”

Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Piyush Chawla, Yarra Prithviraj, Prasidh Krishna

Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson(w), Steven Smith(c), Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Oshane Thomas, Varun Aaron