IPL 2020, KXIP vs KKR: Narine, Krishna’s death bowling gives KKR a thrilling 2-run win over KXIP
Kings XI Punjab began their campaign with a Super Over defeat, and have since lost five of six matches. It turned out to be an exciting game again in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, but the end result proved the same for KXIP against Kolkata Knight Riders, the former champions who are running into serious form.
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Still, going into a final over by Sunil Narine with 14 to win, the match was tilted slightly towards the chasing team. The bottom-ranked KXIP’s hopes were not lost even with seven to get off the last ball.
Glenn Maxwell lofted Narine over extra cover, but it was heartbreak. The ball fell an inch short and the four meant a two-run win for KKR.
It was pacer Prasidh Krishna who pulled things back for KKR with a 19th over that cost six runs and fetched two wickets, importantly the big scalp of KXIP skipper KL Rahul, played on off his last ball.
KKR captain Dinesh Karthik scored his first fifty of the tournament, 58 off 29 balls, and stitched an important partnership of 82 runs with young opener Shubman Gill, who hit a 47-ball 57 to extend his fine run to ensure a fighting 164/6. KXIP ended on 162/5.
KL Rahul’s 74 off 58 balls proved in vain. “I have no answers to the chase. We just need to keep coming good in the next seven games. Our bowlers adjusted well and did well.”
Rahul made good an early escape after Andre Russell could not pull off a running catch at mid-off in the second over bowled by Krishna. KXIP management and coach Anil Kumble have to rethink about their batting tactics after a poor decision to send Prabhsimran Singh ahead of Maxwell and Mandeep Singh.
On a sluggish wicket, Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (56 off 39 balls) looked in control during their 115-run opening stand. It was again their fellow Karnataka team mate Krishna who broke through, removing Agarwal in the 15th over to turn things around.
Karthik said: “The way Rahul and Mayank were batting, we needed something really special to make a comeback. Prasidh is special. He bowled so well in the second spell and Sunil Narine always stands up in crucial times.”