The Knights saved two of Sunil Narine’s overs for the death and the tactic worked wonders for them.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were dead and buried in their match against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Saturday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal’s 115-run stand for the opening wicket put Dinesh Karthik and Co under extreme pressure.
In the last four overs, the Punjab-based franchise needed to score at almost a run-ball to secure a victory. However, the Knights pulled a rabbit out of the hat and won the match by two runs. Rahul and Agarwal notched 74 and 56 runs respectively, but their efforts went in vain.
With the triumph, the Knights moved to third in the points table and are level with Mumbai Indians (MI) with eight points. For Punjab, their campaign has gone from bad to worse as they lost their sixth game in the event.
Here are the KKR Player Ratings for the KXIP vs KKR match: –
Rahul Tripathi- 2/10
Rahul Tripathi didn’t have the greatest of days with the bat. He played quite a few dots to start his knock. Then he pulled Mohammed Shami for a four to get going. But he couldn’t carry on as the speedster rattled his woodwork. He also had a tough time, facing Arshdeep Singh in his first over.
Shubman Gill- 9/10
Shubman Gill had another decent outing with the willow. He was cautious in the powerplay after KKR lost a couple of early wickets. The right-hander got to his half-century off 42 balls and went on to score 57 runs off 47 balls with five fours. In the 18th over, the youngster perished to a run out.
Nitish Rana- 2/10
Nitish Rana hasn’t scored for KKR in the last few games and he would have wanted some runs under his belt. But to his dismay, he was involved in a mix-up with Shubman that led to his run out. In fact, Gill and Rana ended up at the striker’s end when the bails were taken off at the non-striker’s end.
Eoin Morgan- 6.5/10
Eoin Morgan put his head down and stitched together a 49-run stand for the second wicket with Gill. He smashed two fours and a six, managing 24 runs off 23 balls. Just when he was looking set, leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi got rid of him. Morgan played an aerial shot, but holed out to Glenn Maxwell.
Dinesh Karthik- 9.5/10
Dinesh Karthik was at the receiving end of some flak after he flattered to deceive in the last four games for KKR. But this time, he put his best foot forward and scored his 19th IPL fifty. The right-hander scored 58 off 29 with eight fours and two sixes. Karthik was also on top of his game as the skipper.
Andre Russell- 1.5/10
Andre Russell’s poor run with the bat continued. He came to bat in the 18th over and got off the mark with a streaky four through third man off Arshdeep. But then he edged one to Prabhsimran Singh. On the field, he dropped KL Rahul’s catch and then injured himself. Consequently, he didn’t bowl.
Pat Cummins- 7/10
Pat Cummins couldn’t get a wicket, but he was economical, especially in the first three overs upfront. He was a tad expensive in his last over and gave 29 runs at an economy of 7.25. The speedster gave away three fours in his spell, and most importantly, churned out six dot deliveries.
Sunil Narine- 9.5/10
Sunil Narine was exemplary, to say the least. Karthik saved two of his overs for the death and the tactic paid rich dividends. It was Narine, who helped KKR snatch the win from the jaws of defeat. The veteran got rid of Nicholas Pooran and Mandeep Singh and defended 14 runs in the 20th over.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti- 1/10
Kamlesh Nagarkoti faced the brunt of the KXIP batters. The opposition batsmen laid into him and didn’t allow him to settle into a rhythm. In four overs, the fast bowler leaked 40 runs at an economy of 13.33. That the seamer bowled only two dots showed how easily the Punjab batters played him.
Prasidh Krishna- 9.5/10
Prasidh Krishna bowled an expensive over to start his spell. But the Karnataka bowler came back in a strong way. In four overs, he gave 29 runs and picked up the wickets of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Prabhsimran. Along with Narine, Krishna put the breaks on KXIP’s batting in the death overs.
Varun Chakravarthy- 7/10
Varun Chakravarthy didn’t get a wicket, but he was frugal as ever. He bowled in the middle overs and gave away 27 runs in his spell of four overs. He was hit for two fours and the Punjab batsmen mostly creamed him for singles. Going forward, he can’t be undermined as he also has the ability to take wickets.