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IPL 2019, KXIP vs KKR: Shubman Gill, Chris Lynn guide Kolkata Knight Riders to a seven-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab

Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by seven wickets in Mohali on Friday.

cricket Updated: May 04, 2019 09:01 IST
Shalini Gupta
IPL 2019,KXIP vs KKR,Shubman Gill
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Shubman Gill raises his bat after scoring a half-century against Kings XI Punjab.(AP)

Known to be a cool customer, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Dinesh Karthik was seen in a different avatar against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the IS Bindra PCA Stadium in Mohali in a must-win IPL tie on Friday. Mindful of the significance of a win at this stage of the tournament, one could understand his emotions, but this was somewhat unprecedented. ((Full Scorecard))

While Nicholas Pooran, Mayank Aggarwal, Mandeep Singh kept stealing runs for KXIP in order to post a massive total, Karthik was visibly agitated with teammates Andre Russell and Sunil Narine on the field. Something was definitely wrong. And it was confirmed when KKR head coach Jacques Kallis had to come out and intervene during the strategic time-out.

Realising that KKR had leaked plenty of runs in the middle overs and dropped Sam Curran’s crucial catch, Karthik looked gutted and was seen murmuring to himself. Asked to bat, at one stage KXIP were 22/2 in 4.1 overs with KL Rahul and Chris Gayle back in the dressing room. But KKR failed to capitalise on it as they were clobbered all over the park.

Narine wanted to have a go at Pooran and just as he was walking in to have a bowl, Karthik asked Piyush Chawla to bowl instead. Narine was furious and had an animated discussion with the skipper before he had to be calmed by Robin Uthappa. After the over and at the stroke of the strategic time-out, Karthik got his team in a huddle and was seen giving them a dressing down. The past week or so has seen discontentment brewing in the KKR camp. On Friday, it may have spilled over.

ALSO READ: KXIP vs KKR Highlights, IPL 2019 Match 52 in Mohali: Kolkata Knight Riders win by seven wickets

In the end, with the result falling in place and KKR beating KXIP to stay alive in pursuit of a place in the playoffs, Karthik can relax and ask his team to give a final push. They need to beat Mumbai Indians in the last league game and Sunrisers Hyderabad to lose to Royal Challengers Bangalore to make it to the playoffs.

What should give KKR heart is their batting might, flexed at the right time as they chased down a stiff 184 with relative ease. Openers Chris Lynn and local boy Shubman Gill provided the visitors a flying start and even though Andre Russell failed to come up with a big one tonight, KKR didn’t stumble. Gill in fact was the toast of his team and the young sensation once again confirmed why not allowing him to open in initial matches may have been a mistake.

He was sublime, playing the spin and pace with equal ease and the best thing about him was how he was willing to rotate strike and play second fiddle – first to Lynn and then briefly to Russell. KXIP are technically alive but even if all the results go in their favour this weekend, a poor net run rate may impede their chances of making to the playoffs.

First Published: May 04, 2019 00:41 IST