KKR get a lifeline with big win against Kings XI
Kolkata Knight Riders gave themselves a strong life line by scoring a convincing seven-wicket victory with two full overs to spare against Kings XI Punjab in an IPL match at the Punjab Cricket Association’s I.S. Bindra Stadium, Mohali on Friday. It was indeed a day of youngsters with KKR’s Shubnam Gill as well as Kings XI’s Nicholas Pooran and Sam Curran truly proving their worth for their respective teams.
Chasing Kings XI’s 183 for six in 20 overs, which turned out to be below par for the course on a great batting track, KKR reached 185 for three in 18 overs with young opening batsman Shubnam Gill remaining not out 65 runs and skipper Dinesh Karthik unbeaten on 21.
It was a do or die battle for KKR and Kings XI Punjab as both teams at the end of 12 matches were on 10 points before the start of the match. The win against Kings XI pushed KKR to the fifth position with 12 points from 13 matches and a net run rate (NRR) of +0.173 just behind Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), who are in the fourth spot also with 12 points from 13 matches and NRR of +0.653. Kings XI are in the seventh position with 10 points from 13 matches and NRR of -0.351.
The fate of the fourth team for the knock out will be decided after SRH meet Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their final match on Saturday and KKR clash with Mumbai Indians (MI) in the last league match on Sunday. CSK (18 points), MI (16 points) and DC (16 points) have made it to the knock-out stage of the tournament.
Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and Karthik opted to bowl. KKR played the same 11 as in their previous match, while Kings XI brought Sam Curran and Andrew Tye in place of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and David Miller.
England’s Samuel Mathew Curran aka Sam Curran, who was dropped on 17 runs by Rinku Singh, a straight forward catch in the deep, of Sunil Narine made the best use of the opportunity to reach 51 off 23 balls and remained unbeaten on 55 (25 balls, two sixes and seven fours) for Kings XI.
Curran was particularly severe on his country mate Harry Frederick Gurney by flaying the left-arm medium pacer for 22 runs in the last over including one six and three fours). This slog attack helped Kings XI put up a competitive total against KKR, who had big hitting batsmen such as Chris Lynn and West Indian Andre Russell in the team.
Earlier West Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran made up for the poor form of his country mate Christopher Henry Gayle aka Chris Gayle, who will turn 40 on September 21. Chris Gayle once again failed to prove his powerful worth to be out for 14 off 14 balls with two fours.
The other opener Lokesh Rahul had fallen earlier and Kings XI were reduced to 22 for two in 4.1 overs. Mayank Agarwal and Pooran set to repair the early damages and added 69 runs for the third wicket in quick time with Pooran playing an aggressive knock.
Pooran slammed four sixes and three fours in his 27-ball knock of 48 runs and was out caught by Sandeep Warrier in the deep off Nitish Rana as Kings XI lost their third wicket on 91 runs in 10.5 overs. The home team was reduced to 111 for four with the fall of Mayank for a well made 36 runs off 26 balls with one six and two fours.
Australian Christopher Austin Lynn aka Chris Lynn gave KKR a robust start by adding 62 runs in six overs. Lynn, who seemed well set to score a quick-fire 50 of this IPL season, was out for 46 off 22 balls with three sixes and five fours. When Russell left at 150 for three in 14.5 overs, KKR needed 34 runs from 31 balls with Gill going strong on 53 runs.
KKR’s batting dominance was proved by the fact that the team reached 90 for one in nine overs (at the end of the first time out) and 157 for three in 16 overs at the end of the second time out. After Lynn’s departure young Gill shoulder his responsibility to a nicety and in the company of Andre Russell (24 runs, 14 balls, two sixes and two fours) and Dinesh Karthik ensure there were no major hiccups.