Rajasthan Royals' Siddharth Trivedi took 3 for 23 and was named Man of the Match. (BCCI)
Jaipur: Albeit a bit too early to be termed a winning run, Rajasthan Royals' second consecutive victory in IPL 6 on Monday over defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders perched Rahul Dravid's team on top of the points table - largely, Dravid admits, due to the pace attack he fielded.
Kolkata Knight Riders fell 19 runs short of the 144 scored by Rajasthan with S Sreesanth, Shaun Tait, Rahul Shukla, Kevon Cooper and Sidharth Trivedi all getting among the wickets. Cooper and Trivedi were chief architects of Rajasthan's win with three wickets each. "It is our first win [at home] with five fast bowlers," Dravid said jokingly after the win.
Dravid pointed at the strength of KKR's batting, which included players like Gautam Gambhir, Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan, as reason why he chose to go in with an all-pace attack. "With such batsmen we could not have played spinners, so why not bombard them with pace," he said.
"We were below par with the bat, but it is a good win nonetheless. Brad Hodge and Dishant Yagnik's innings at the end got us to a fighting total. Gambhir's wicket was a big one. Overall we bowled pretty well. Siddharth Trivedi bowled an amazingly good spell," the skipper added, praising Hodge for his 46 not out.
Kolkata captain Gambhir blamed lack of partnerships for his side's loss at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Monday. "We kept losing wickets at the wrong time. 144 was a good job by the bowlers and we should have chased it on a good batting wicket.[But] some of the shots were outrageous and we cannot keep making those mistakes. The way we have bowled has been fantastic, especially Sunil Narine," said Gambhir.
Man-of-the-Match Trivedi, who bowled a spell of 3 for 23, lauded the pitch and thanked the guidance he got from the team. "I really enjoyed bowling here. The ball was seaming a bit in the first innings and Rahul bhai and [team] management guided me on how to bowl. If you get such wickets, fast bowlers put in more effort."