KOLKATA – Barbadian fast bowler Jofra Archer provided a menorable farewell when smashed a six off the second ball of the final over as Rajasthan Royals stunned Andre Russell’s Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets, to pull off a tantalizing win in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.
Playing at Eden Gardens in his final match of the tournament before he links up with England for his maiden international assignments against Ireland and Pakistan, Archer produced a cameo unbeaten 27 off 12 balls as the visitors chased down 176 to win their fourth match of the campaign.
More known for his express pace, Archer shone with the bat after arriving at the crease with Royals on 123 for six in the 16th, requiring a further 53 runs from 28 deliveries.
He smacked a couple of fours and sixes, playing his role in a crucial 44-run, seventh wicket stand with 17-year-old Riyan Parag who top-scored with 47 from 31 balls.
Once Parag went hit-wicket to pacer Russell (1-32) in the penultimate over, the 24-year-old Archer took matters into his own hands. He nicked the first ball of the final over from fast bowler Prasidh Krishna to the third man fence and then heaved a full length delivery over extra cover for six, to seal victory for Royals.
Ajinkya Rahane had earlier stroked 34 in a 53-run opening stand with Sanju Samson who chipped in with 22, while Windies off-spinner Sunil Narine claimed two for 25.
Sent in, KKR benefitted from captain Dinesh Karthik’s unbeaten 97 off 50 balls as they reached 175 for six off their 20 overs.
However, he got little support and Nitish Rana with 21 was the only other batsman to pass 20.
The Windies trio of Russell (14), Sunil Narine (11) and Carlos Brathwaite (5) all failed while international teammate, fast bowler Oshane Thomas, picked up one for 32 from his four overs, in his first game of the campaign.