Tough luck, Knights!
Gautam Gambhir won the toss against Kings XI Punjab and decided to bowl at the IS Bindra Stadium. We made two changes as Robin Uthappa and Kuldeep Yadav replaced Sheldon Jackson and Piyush Chawla respectively.
Dodgy start from KXIP:
Manan Vohra opened for the home team with Martin Guptill and the duo took their time before playing their shots. de Grandhomme took the new ball with Umesh. They were scoring at 7 runs per over for the first four overs. Vohra took the attack to Umesh in the fifth over and struck two fours. But Umesh got his man soon as Vohra tried to scoop but managed to just edge it to Uthappa. Narine struck in the next over as he removed Guptill for the fourth time in eight innings. Shaun Marsh and Wriddhiman Saha then tried to stabilize their innings but Woakes removed the Aussie for 11 as he completely missed the ball to get bowled. At the end of 10 overs, they were on a tricky score of 63/3.
KXIP end on a high:
Captain Glenn Maxwell then took the responsibility of scoring runs quickly as he opened his arms. He struck de Grandhomme for two sixes in the 12th over and things started to look dangerous. Saha played the perfect role as he gave the strike to Maxwell and dismissed the bad balls himself. Maxwell continued his attack and hit Kuldeep for two consecutive sixes but holed out in the deep on the third ball. Kuldeep struck again in his next over, as the settled Saha departed. The bowler foxed him as Saha came down the track but missed and Uthappa made no mistake to inflict his 31st stumping in the IPL. Woakes got rid of Swapnil Singh for just 2 to make things difficult for the home team. Rahul Tewatia and Axar Patel scored some important runs as they finished on 167/6.
Lynn makes a confident start:
Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn did what they do best at the top, gave us a brisk start. Narine started with two fours of the first two balls of the innings. Chris Lynn, from the other end played his natural game. After 3 overs, we were 31/0 with 21 made by Lynn and 10 from Narine. The latter departed after he was removed by Sandeep. But Lynn was going strong from the other end as he showed his power and muscle. Gambhir took his time but could not get going and finally succumbed to Rahul Tewatia after making 8 runs. Tewatia struck again and removed in-form Robin Uthappa on his first ball. At the end of 10 overs, we were 79 for 3 requiring 89 in the last 10 overs.
Spinners turn the game for KXIP:
Glenn Maxwell read the pitch perfectly as he operated his spinners after the Powerplay. Young Rahul Tewatia and Axar Patel, along with Swapnil Singh bowled their overs and shifted the momentum in KXIP’s favour. Sixes were getting difficult to hit as the pitch slowed down. Chris Lynn was doing his best and but got no support from the other end. Manish Pandey tried to play an aggressive knock but to no great effect. At the end of 15 overs, we were 118/3, needing 50 off 30 balls. Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma then bowled beautifully. The yorkers and slower balls did the trick for the home team as the run-rate increased rapidly. 18th over changed the match as Pandey holed out in the deep and Lynn got run-out on the next ball. In the last two overs, we needed 29 runs but the task was big. Pathan departed for just 2. de Grandhomme and Woakes tried their best but could not manage to get the team through. 'The dot balls made a lot of difference,’ said Gambhir as we lost the match by 14 runs.