Ahmedabad: Leg-spinner Pravin Tambe claimed the first hat-trick of the season and skipper Shane Watson picked up three wickets to script Rajasthan Royals' 10-run sensational win over Kolkata Knight Riders in their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) match at their newly adopted home, the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera on Monday.
After a 121-run stand between openers Robin Uthappa (65) and Gautam Gambhir (54), Knight Riders suffered a dramatic batting collapse losing six wickets for two runs and could muster only 160 for six in 20 overs while chasing a target of 171.
Knight Riders also became the first team in the history of IPL to lose a match after scoring a century-run stand while chasing a target.
Gautam Gambhir in action against Rajasthan Royals on Monday.
It seemed Knight Riders had the match in their grasp as they were cruising at 121 for no loss in the 15th over. They needed 49 runs from 35 balls as both Gambhir and Uthappa were going great guns. Gambhir smacked six fours and a six in his 34-ball whirlwind knock while Uthappa hit three sixes and five fours during his 52-all stay.
But Gambhir's dismissal triggered a batting collapse as Knight Riders lost six wickets for just two runs and were suddenly reduced to 123 for six.
First it was the triple strike from Watson in the 15th over when he got rid of Gambhir, Uthappa and Andre Russell (1) in five balls to reduce Knight Riders to 122 for three
In the next over, the 42-year-old Tambe picked up his maiden hat-trick in just two legal balls.
Tambe had Manish Pandey stumped by Saju Samson with a wide delivery in the first ball and then took a good catch off his own bowling to get rid of Yusuf Pathan. He completed the hat-trick by dismissing Ryan ten Doeschate with a tossed up delivery that hit the Dutchman's toe for him to be adjudged lbw.
The Knight Riders failed to recover from the deadly blows and it was Shakib-al Hasan's unbeaten 21 in 14 balls that helped them reduce the deficit.
Earlier, a collective effort by Rajasthan batsmen saw them reach a respectable score of 170 for six in their first IPL encounter at home today.
Put into bat, in-form openers Karun Nair (44) and Ajinkya Rahane (30) gave a good start while Sanju Samson (37) and skipper Shane Watson (31) also made useful contributions to prop up the score.
Sunil Narine was again the pick of the bowlers grabbing two for 28 in four overs while R Vinay Kumar also got a couple wickets despite being smashed for 42 in four overs.
Rahane flicked Vinay off the very first ball of the match to start the innings in right earnest.
In Yadav's second and fourth over of the innings, he carted the pacer for a four and a six off successive deliveries.
When Narine dropped one short, he drove the 'Mystery Man' through the covers as Royals reached the 50-run mark.
Karun Nair of Rajasthan Royals plays a shot during his innings against Kolkata Knight Riders at Motera stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday.
Having reached 30 off 22 balls with the help of three fours and a six, Rahane looked set for a big knock before it was cut short by a direct throw by Narine from short fine leg position. Rahane who was running to the striker's end could not make it despite a full stretched dive.
The opening stand between Nair and Rahane yielded 52 runs in 6.3 overs.
Young Nair, however, carried on in his calm and calculative manner as he added another 53 with the talented Samson. He may not be one of the explosive players on the block but find of Karnataka's triumphant Ranji season certainly has the technique to play top quality bowling.
On two occasions, he used his feet to sweep Shakib al Hasan's deliveries. He also got a six with a mis-hit off a Yadav full-toss that flew over deep square leg boundary.
However, the wily Shakib got his revenge when he cleverly bowled it wide outside off and the batsman had no chance with keeper Robin Uthappa completing the stumping.
Nair's 44 came off 35 balls with four boundaries and a six.
Sanju played a few streaky shots as he got a couple of boundaries early on in the innings of Andre Russell. Having scored 37 off 29 balls, Samson fell while facing the 30th delivery as he was holed out at deep mid-wicket boundary trying an ugly hoick off Narine.
Skipper Watson played his hand as he hit a couple crushing sixes off Vinay --- one over long off and other straight into the sight screen. But Russell's antics of stopping on his delivery stride before completing the delivery broke his concentration as he was holed out in the deep with Suryakumar Yadav taking a well judged catch at the boundary line.
Watson's 31 came off 20 balls with two fours and equal number of sixes. However, it Rajat Bhatia's six off the last delivery that took Royals' score to 170.