Shane Warne
File photo of Rajasthan Royals mentor Shane Warne.IANS

Rajasthan Royals (RR) mentor Shane Warne had left India ahead of the playoffs of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season but the Australian legend, away in Melbourne, was rooting for his franchise during the Eliminator against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday, May 23.

Warne was actively tweeting about the match. The 48-year-old went from being ecstatic about the Royals' bowling performance to ending up disappointed after the visitors gifted the match to the Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens.

Ajinkya Rahane's men got off to a solid start after winning the toss as off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham and pacer Jofra Archer struck early to leave KKR reeling at 24 for 3. However, Dinesh Karthik (38-ball 52), Shubman Gill (17-ball 28) and Andre Russell (25-ball 49) helped the hosts post a decent total (169) on what played out to be a two-paced surface.

The Royals did not put a foot wrong in the first half of their 170-run chase and were cruising at 109 for 1 in 14 overs before losing skipper Rahane (46 off 41). Sanju Samson, who was looking flawless at the middle, departed right after scoring his half-century, thereby letting the momentum slip away from his team.

KKR seized the opportunity and made life difficult for new batsmen Heinrich Klaasen and Gowtham, who had walked in when the Royals needed 43 off their last three overs. The likes of Prasidh Krishna and Russell gave nothing away towards the death and helped KKR clinch a comfortable 25 run-win.

Check out Warne's live Twitter commentary here.

 Warne started the day by wishing luck to his team. He was ecstatic after the Royals show with the ball in the powerplay.

Notably, KKR lost four big wickets — Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana — inside the first six overs.

 Warne was delighted seeing leg-spinners Shreyas Gopal and Ish Sodhi bowl miserly spells on Wednesday. The two conceded only 49 runs in eight overs between them. 

Despite Russel's quickfire knock at the death, Warne seemed to be happy with the Royals' bowling performance. He backed his boys to finish the chase as early as in the 18th over. 

Warne was happy with the start and the 62-run stand between skipper Rahane and Samson got him over the moon. 

 Here comes the twist in the tale. As the Royals fumbled towards the end overs after losing both Rahane and Samson, Warne did not hold back but lashed out at his team. He also was "annoyed" with Karthik for talking a lot of time to set his field right. 

Warne, despite not being with the squad, was excited about the Royals entering the playoffs. Notably, the IPL title-winning captain was quite confident about his team reaching the final as he had said he would be back in India for the big match in Mumbai on Sunday, May 27.

 While the Royals will head home, the Knight Riders will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens on Friday, May 25 for a spot in the final where one of them will face two-time champions Chennai Super Kings.