Kolkata Knight Riders kept their playoff hopes alive as they clinched an emphatic seven-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab in Mohali's PCA IS Bindra stadium last night.
Dinesh Karthik won the toss and asked KXIP to bat first. R. Ashwin made three changes to their squad. Sam Curran, Andrew Tye & Mandeep Singh came in for Mujeeb Ur Rahman, David Miller & Prabhsimran Singh.
Playing only his second IPL match, Sandeep Warrier gave KKR a dream start with the ball. The fast bowler scalped two big fishes, dismissing KL Rahul (2) in third and Chris Gayle (14) in fifth over to put the home side right on the backfoot.
Nicholas Pooran (48) and Mayank Agarwal (36) built a good 69-run partnership for the third wicket. Rana (1/8) was asked to bowl the 11th over and the man with the golden arm didn't disappoint his Skipper and got rid of dangerous looking Pooran.
Agarwal’s resistance ended while he was trying to steal a double and found himself short of ground thanks to a very tight throw by Rinku Singh from cow corner.
Sam Curran’s late blitz took KXIP to 183 runs in 20 overs. The Englishman took 24 balls for his 55* and scored at a strike rate of 229.16.
Chris Lynn gave KKR yet another blistering start. The Australian scored 46 from 22 balls before getting caught by Tye off his own bowling as KKR scored 62 off the first 6 overs.
Robin Uthappa (22) and Andre Russell (24) played a quick handy knock to keep the scoreboard ticking. But it was Shubman Gill who patiently took KKR close to the total before Skipper DK (21*) finished it off with a 4, 2, 6 and 4 in the 18th over.
"It's a big ground but I think we did the small things well. We ran well, we put pressure, so it was good execution from the batsmen" - Skipper Dinesh Karthik broke down the win after the important win over KXIP.
In the process, Punjab’s home boy Shubman (65*) made his fourth half century in IPL, most by a teenager. This was his third this season in four innings as an opener. “It feels great to get my first Man of the Match award at my home ground", an elated Shubman said after receiving his man of the match award.
This win takes KKR one step closer towards the playoffs. Next stop for DK and his Knights is Wankhede Stadium where they'll play Mumbai Indians and will need nothing less than a victory.
KXIP: 183 for 6 in 20 Overs (S Curran 55, N Pooran 48, Warrier 2/31)
KKR: 185 for 3 in 18 Overs (S Gill 65*, C Lynn 46, Shami 1/15)
KKR won by 7 wickets