IPL 2018: Kolkata Knight Riders thrash Kings XI Punjab in high-scoring thriller
Sunil Narine and Dinesh Karthik’s blistering knocks coupled with Andre Russell’s all-round show helped Kolkata Knight Riders defeat Kings XI Punjab by 31 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match at the Holkar Stadium on Saturday. (KXIP v KKR HIGHLIGHTS)
Narine showed why his promotion in the batting order is an excellent move by the management. He was backed by Karthik’s 22-ball fifty and Russell’s cameo as KKR posted their highest total across all editions. In reply, once KL Rahul and Chris Gayle departed it was the same old story for the hosts, who slumped to their fifth loss in the tournament and leaving the playoff race wide open. (KXIP v KKR SCORECARD)
Chasing 246, Rahul and Gayle got KXIP off to a magnificent start, putting on a 50-run stand in 4.4 overs. The ‘Universe Boss’ got a lifeline when wicketkeeper Karthik dropped him off the bowling of Russell in the fourth over.
But 12 balls later, Russell removed Gayle (21) and Mayank Agarwal (0) off consecutive deliveries to halt KXIP’s progress. Rahul continued to hold one end and completed his fifth half-century of the season.
Soon, Karun Nair (3) became Russell’s third victim while Rahul (66) fell to Narine in the ninth over. The Indian wanted to play the slog sweep but got an inside edge on to his thigh pad and the ball spun back on to the stumps. Aaron Finch (34) and Axar Patel (19) couldn’t make an impact and even R Ashwin’s 22-ball 45 couldn’t save KXIP from a defeat. They finally managed 214 for 8.
Put in to bat, KKR openers Narine and Chris Lynn were initially kept in check by Mohit Sharma with short-of-good-length deliveries.
In the fourth over, KXIP’s Mujeeb ur Rahman was hit hard on his bowling hand by Narine and had to leave the field. The 19-year-old spinner from Afghanistan attempted a return catch but in the process hurt himself. Narine finally broke the shackles, targeting Ashwin, who had stepped in for Mujeeb and pacer Barinder Sran.
He put on a 53-run stand with Lynn (27) before the Australian fell to Andrew Tye in the last over of powerplay. Narine continued to pile on the runs and brought up his second half-century of the season.
The West Indian looked set to reach the three-figure mark but Tye pitched one short to get rid of him in the 12th over. Narine, who had also stitched a 50-plus (75) stand with no 3 batsman Robin Uthappa (24), scored 75.
The stage was set for the middle-order to cash in and Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell did what their team would’ve hoped for. They shared a 76-run partnership off just 31 balls as KXIP bowlers were left searching for answers. Both batsmen went after Axar and Mujeeb, who returned to bowl in the 15th over but didn’t complete his quota of overs.