A blistering half century from Andre Russell saw the Kolkata Knight Riders pick up a slender win over Kings XI Punjab. Chasing a competitive total of 184, KKR secured the win with a ball and a wicket to spare.
Kings XI Punjab lay solid foundation
In spite of going at a rather slow rate, the opening pair of Murali Vijay and Manan Vohra got off to a decent start. Just as it looked as though Vijay was about to tee off, he was castled by Sunil Narine for a well made 28. Clearly struggling against the ‘mystery spin’ of Sunil Narine, Manan Vohra (39) was the next to go. With half the innings to play, Punjab found themselves at 78-2. It is safe to say that the KXIP batsmen were aided and abetted by poor fielding by the home side.
Glen Maxwell powers KXIP to competitive total
Having had a disappointing season, an innings of power hitting from Glenn Maxwell was long over due. A 22 ball 43 saw Maxwell give Andre Russell a taste of his own medicine. His innings included four sparkling boundaries and three maximums. Wriddhiman Saha played second fiddle with an impressive innings of 33 off 25.
The innings came to a fitting end with David Miller whacking the KKR death bowlers to all parts. His 11 ball 27 ensured that the Kings XI Punjab finished on a 183/5. For KKR, Sunil Narine was the pick of the bowlers with 4/19.
KKR top order falls apart
The chase of 184 began in a disappointing fashion for the home team. Robin Uthappa was the first to go as he was caught at short mid on by Axar Patel. Manish Pandey’s short stay of 15 balls came to an abrupt end as Axar Patel’s fielding prowess came to the fore once more. Leggie Gurkeerat Singh dismissed both Gautam Gambhir and Suryakumar Yadav in quick succession. With the score at 83/4 with 11 overs played, George Bailey and Co. were staring at a rare victory.
Andre Russell and Yusuf Pathan rip through KXIP bowling
With the situation demanding a pinch hitter, Andre Russell was the perfect fit. Cometh the moment, cometh the man. From the moment he entered to the moment he departed, most of the deliveries were deposited either to the boundary or over the boundary. Anureet Singh was the unfortunate bowler to face the wrath of Andre Russell. The latter’s 21 ball 52 saw him on terms with Harbhajan Singh for the fastest 50 in the 2015 IPL.
Yusuf Pathan’s cameo of 29 too came in handy as the Knight Riders found themselves within touching distance of 184. Similar to the previous match, Piyush Chawla’s innings of 18 ensured that the Knight Riders picked up a win.
Kings XI Punjab: 183/4 in 20 overs (Glenn Maxwell 43, Sunil Narine 4/19)
Kolkata Knight Riders: 184/9 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 51, Gurkeerat Singh 2/17)
Man of the Match: Andre Russell