Abu Dhabi: Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Kings XI Punjab by two runs in a thrilling match here on Saturday due to the magic of the charismatic bowler Sunil Narine and the brilliant bowling of the famous Krishna in the last overs.
Chasing a target of 165 for victory, Punjab's team got off to a brilliant start with captain Lokesh Rahul (74) and opener Mayank Agarwal (56) sharing a 115-run stand for the first wicket, but the team got 162 for five. Could only make Kings XI Punjab were required to score 22 runs in the last three overs to win and had nine wickets left, but during this period, Narayan and Krishna gave Punjab only 19 runs and took two wickets each.
Earlier, KKR won the toss, batting first and captain Dinesh Karthik's last innings of 58 runs in the last over, 164 runs for six wickets in 20 overs. This is the fourth win in six matches for KKR while it is Punjab's fifth consecutive defeat. The team has won only one of the seven matches. Chasing the target, Punjab scored 47 in six overs of the powerplay without loss while 76 in 10 overs.
In the second over of the match, Rahul was also given a life by dripping a catch by Russell off the famous Krishna ball. He hit the first and second ball of Pat Cummins in the 13th over, scoring a fourth half of the season in 42 balls. This is the 19th half-century of his IPL career. In the fourth ball of the same over, Mayank stole a run and completed the half-century. The famous Krishna ended Mayank's innings by taking a catch by Shubman Gill in the 15th over. He scored 56 runs in 39 balls with the help of six fours and a six.
After that Nicolas Pooran, running in rhythm, came to bat. He made the last two balls of Nagerkoti in the 16th over and then reduced the distance to the ball and required runs by hitting a six, but he was bowled in the second ball of the 18th over to make a big shot off Narayan. He scored 16 runs in 10 balls. Narayan gave just two runs in this over, which again increased the pressure on Punjab. Krishna took advantage of this pressure and made the match exciting by taking the wickets of Prabhasimran (four) and Rahul by giving just six on the 19th. Rahul scored 74 runs in 58 balls with the help of six fours. In the last over, the team needed 14 runs to win but despite the presence of Glenn Maxwell (10 not out), Narayan conceded just 11 runs in this over. Nayayan got two while KKR got three successes for KKR.
Earlier, Man of the Match Karthik shared a 58-run partnership for the fourth wicket with opener Shubman Gill (57) in addition to scoring 58 off 29 balls with eight fours and two sixes. He was run out on the last ball of the innings. Gill was run out in the 18th over. He scored 57 runs in 47 balls with the help of five fours. Earlier, the Punjab team bowled tight in the early overs of the match, winning the toss and batting first, KKR's team was able to score just 25 for two in six overs of the power play.
Gill hit the fourth ball of the first over but Arshdeep Singh, who came to bowl from the other end, put pressure on KKR by putting on a maiden over. The pressure was benefited by Mohammed Shami, who bowled Rahul Tripathi (four off 10 balls) off the fourth ball of his second over. Nitish Rana was run out by two runs in the next over.
After the initial setbacks, Eoin Morgan and Gill stepped up and played the innings. Morgan completed his 1000 runs in the IPL by hitting Shami's ball in the sixth over. Morgan scored the first six of KKR's innings off Mujib ur Rehman in the tenth over. In the next over, young spinner Ravi Bishnoi dismissed him and broke his 49-run partnership with Gill for the third wicket. He scored 24 off 23 balls with the help of two fours and a six.
After this, Dinesh Karthik, who came to bat, adopted an aggressive approach. He hit a six off the last ball of the 14th over and then hit three fours in the 16th over by Arshdeep. Meanwhile Gill completed his half-century by hitting the third ball of the 15th over. Gill was run out off the last ball of the 18th over. Russell once again failed with the bat and scored five runs off three balls and was caught by wicketkeeper Prabhasimran off Arshdeep. For Punjab, Shami, Arshdeep and Bishnoi had one success each, while Mujib and Chris Jordan proved to be quite expensive. KKR scored 81 runs in both their eight overs.
The teams are
Kolkata Knight Riders: Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper and captain), Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagerkoti, Famous Krishna, Varun Chakraborty
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Simran Singh (wicketkeeper), Glenn Maxwell, Mujib ur Rehman, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh