KKR crush Kings XI Punjab
Manvinder Bisla scored 51 not out as the Kolkata Knight Riders crushed the Kings XI Punjab by six wickets, with 10 balls to spare, at Eden Gardens on Friday in a vital Pepsi Indian Premier League clash.
Full Scorecard: Kolkata v Punjab
Kolkata ended on 150 for four after 18.2 overs in reply to the Kings XI's below par score of 149 for six, after Adam Gilchrist had won the toss and decided that his team should bat first.
The Kings XI had made a decent start, even though Sachithra Senanayake bowled a maiden in the second over. But Gilchrist (27) and Mandeep Singh (25) then scored 40 runs off the next four overs to end the power play on 45 without loss.
But the introduction of Jacques Kallis (4-0-14-2) changed the complexity of the innings as he dismissed Mandeep with his first ball. Kallis conceded just 11 runs in his first three overs and returned to bowl the 18th over, conceding just three runs and claiming the wicket of David Hussey (21).
Manan Vohra top-scored for the visitors with 31 off 21 balls, which included three boundaries and a six. Gurkeerat Singh smashed 28 off 15 balls with two fours and two maximums to boost the total and give Punjab a total worth bowling at.
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The big wicket of the in-form David Miller (10) was picked up by Sarabjit Ladda (1-18), who cleaned bowled the hard-hitting South African. Sunil Narine was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket as he had most of the batsmen tied up in knots. The West Indian finished with tidy figures of 4-0-22-0.
Punjab then made a dream start in trying to defend their total as Azhaar Mahmood (3-35) claimed two wickets in his first over. It could have been more had Mandeep not dropped Manvinder Bisla off the first ball. Gautam Gambhir (8) was cleaned bowled with the second ball of the over, and Yusuf Pathan (0) followed the very next ball, caught behind by Gilchrist.
But Bisla and Kallis steadied the ship with a 66-run partnership for the third wicket off 56 deliveries as the pair reached the halfway mark on 75 for two. But shortly after the break, Kallis tried to run a ball from Harmeet Singh down to third-man, only to offer a thin edge to the keeper. Kallis faced 33 balls for his 37 which included six classy boundaries.
Eoin Morgan then joined Bisla at the crease and smashed his way to 42 off only 26 deliveries with three fours and four maximums, falling with just two runs needed for victory. Morgan and Bisla added 72 runs for the fourth wicket off only 45 deliveries.
Mahmood returned to bowl the 18th over but found Morgan in a hurry to end the game, as he conceded 13 runs. Morgan had struck Mahmood for two sixes in the over, but perished on the last delivery, trying to clear the rope again.
The Punjab bowlers were not able to capitalise on the start Mahmood and Praveen Kumar (4-0-28-0) gave them as Kallis, Bisla and Morgan played brilliantly.
The victory for Kolkata was a much needed one as the hosts now move onto six points and remain in touch with a playoff position, just. The Kings XI remain on eight points and have a few difficult away games to contend with.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: YK Pathan, G Gambhir (capt), JH Kallis, MS Bisla (wk), EJG Morgan, DB Das, R Bhatia, SMSM Senanayake, SP Narine, S Ladda, L Balaji
KINGS XI PUNJAB: AC Gilchrist (capt & wk), Mandeep Singh, M Vohra, DJ Hussey, Azhar Mahmood, DA Miller, Gurkeerat Singh, PP Chawla, P Kumar, Harmeet Singh, BA Bhatt