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Russell gives lazy Royals the boot 

Kolkata: Skipper Dinesh Karthik’s rearguard half-century and astute marshalling of his bowlers helped Kolkata Knight Riders eliminate inaugural winners Rajasthan Royals by 25 runs in a see-saw Indian Premier League (IPL) contest on Wednesday.Needing 170 to win, Rajasthan got off to a strong start but the wheels came off their chase once skipper Ajinkya Rahane (46) and No. 3 Sanju Samson (50) fell.Two-time champions Kolkata, who restricted Rajasthan to 144/4, will face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier on Friday for a place in Sunday’s final against two-time champions Chennai Super Kings.The Rahane-Samson duo added a match-high 62 runs but Rajasthan sorely missed Jos Buttler, back in England for national duty, whose five fifties were crucial to their playoff qualification.Kolkata’s spin twins — Kuldeep Yadav (1/18) and Piyush Chawla (2/24) — were outstanding with the ball, conceding only 42 runs in their eight overs to choke Rajasthan at the Eden Gardens.Earlier, Karthik led from the front with a fluent 52 and Andre Russell muscled 49 not out to help the hosts overcome a top-order collapse and post a competitive 169/7.Rajasthan off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham denied Kolkata a flying start, dismissing Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa in successive overs as the hosts slumped to 51/4 in eight overs.

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