Kolkata Knight Riders eased to a seven-wicket IPL victory over Rajasthan Royals as the hosts’ nine-match winning streak in Jaipur came to a crashing halt.
Robin Uthappa smashed 48 from 36 balls before falling to a stunning boundary catch from Ben Stokes, while Kolkata captain Dinesh Karthik blazed an unbeaten 42 from 23, taking the visitors past their target of 161 with seven balls to spare courtesy of a maximum off Ben Laughlin.
Kolkata's third win in five has moved them top of the table on net run rate, though unbeaten Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have played two games fewer, will retake that spot with victory at Kings XI Punjab on Thursday.
Rajasthan had earlier totalled 160-8 from their 20 overs, with Jos Buttler striking an unbeaten 24 from 18 balls, Stokes smashing a six off Kuldeep Yadav over long-on during an 11-ball 14 and Kolkata seamer Tom Curran picking up two wickets in as many balls in the 19th over.
The Royals scored only nine runs from the first three overs before skipper Anjinkya Rahane bagged four consecutive boundaries off Sunil Narine (0-48) - the only spinner to leak runs - in the fourth.
Rahane (36 off 19) was then stumped brilliantly by Karthik, who back-flicked the ball onto the stumps with his right hand after it clipped the batsman's pad and headed towards square leg - that dismissal ending a 54-run opening stand between Rahane and D'Arcy Short (44 from 43).
Short - who mustered just 21 runs from his first 30 deliveries - top scored for Rajasthan, but Nitish Rana ended the Australian's hopes of a maiden IPL fifty by bowling him with a ball that skidded on.
Spinners Rana (2-11), Yadav (1-23) and Piyush Chawla (1-18) bowled economically for Kolkata, while Curran was denied a hat-trick by Dhawal Kulkarni having had Krishnappa Gowtham caught at backward point and smashed Shreyas Gopal's stumps from the previous two deliveries.
Gowtham made amends in the first over of Kolkata's reply by castling Chris Lynn for a second-ball duck, but Narine (35 off 25) and Uthappa put on 69 for the second wicket before Narine was run out by Jaydev Unadkat.
Uthappa was the third and final casualty - Stokes pushing the ball back into play at long-on before he trod on the boundary cushion and then claimed the catch cleanly as he returned to the field.
Man of the match Rana (35no off 27) was also there at the death, having shared a 32-run partnership with Uthappa and an unbroken 61 with Karthik, meaning the dangerous Andre Russell did not get a hit.
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