Jofra Archer was at his lethal best for Rajasthan Royals (RR) against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday. In his four-over spell, the right-armer bowled a total of 14 dot balls and conceded just four runs in his first three overs. However, 14 runs came in his last over as he ended with figures of 18/2. Young Shubman Gill (47) and KKR captain Dinesh Karthik were his victims.
In the previous couple of matches, the England fast bowler used quiet a few slow balls and got smacked all over the ground. But today he bowled to his strengths with brute pace, probably making him a tough bowler to hit. But at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Archer started the innings with a fiery over and that remained the template throughout. The over began with 147kph and was followed by 149.9kph, 147.8kph and then close to 150 kmph. Only one run came off the over, setting the tone for Rajasthan.
What was also impressive was RR captain Steve Smith’s use of Archer. He was called on for a second spell where he snuffed out Gill with a 140.5kph back of a length delivery which hurried into the right-hander. Gill went for the flick shot but turned the bat handle a bit too early and a leading edge was caught by Archer himself.
In his third over, Archer got rid off Karthik with an absolute beauty which came in at 147.3kph and straightened just that little bit as Karthik ended up playing the wrong line and an outside edge was taken nicely by wicket-keeper Jos Buttler. The immaculate line and length along with the extra speed and bounce was simply too hot to handle for the KKR captain.
Archer also looked all over his international captain Eoin Morgan, limiting him to 9 (7). The delivery at 152.1kph – fastest he has bowled was targeted at Morgan. At the end of three overs, his figures read an astounding 3-0-4-2.
However, Morgan got the better of Archer in his last over as he went for 14 to spoil his spell.
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