By BV Swagath
Kings XI Punjab caused a huge upset defeating the defending Champions Kolkata Knight Riders by 4 runs at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. Sunil Narine’s efforts of claiming the first hat-trick in IPL 6 also went in vain as KKR made a mess of chasing a target of 158 on a decent batting track. Kings XI Punjab have collected their second win of the tournament in four games while KKR have slipped to their third defeat in five games!
Asked to bat first after losing the toss, Kings XI Punjab were doing alright at 70 for 3 in 10.1 overs. Opener Mandeep Singh did well for his 30-ball 40 although the hosts didn’t get any sort of fiery start. Sunil Narine weaved his magic in the 15th over taking a hat-trick to reduce the Kings XI from 99 for 3 to 99 for 6. First he had David Hussey top edging a square cut to the keeper, then caught and bowled Azhar Mahmood by foxing him with a doosra. Narine took his hat-trick when his carrom ball cut away after pitching around middle to hit the off stump of Gurukeerat Singh.
The hosts were in a miserable position at 109 for 7 in 16 overs and were expected to end up with a low total. However, the tall Manpreet Gony coming in at no.8 had other ideas and took Sunil Narine t the cleaners to score a superb cameo of 42 from 18 balls (with 4 fours and 3 sixes). For KKR, Kallis bowled well for his 3 for 24 while Narine ended with 3 for 33.
KKR in their run chase lost the wicket of Bisla in the first ball itself and then lost Kallis in the second over. Skipper Gautam Gambhir was joined by Eoin Morgan at 1 for 2 and the two left handers put up a century stand. Gambhir departed in the 14th over edging a big shot off Gony to the keeper after scoring a well paced 60 from 39 balls (with 9 fours). When Morgan (47 from 38 balls with 6 fours) was dismissed in the 15th over with a leading edge off a flick shot, the match was wide open with KKR at 116 for 4. KKR needed 42 runs from the last five overs. Rajat Bhatia struck a couple of sixes which left the visitors to score 12 runs from the final over to be bowled by Praveen Kumar.
Despite having Yusuf Pathan, KKR couldn’t score the required runs in the final over. Yusuf was dismissed for a 16-ball 13 when he whacked a slower full toss from Praveen to deep mid wicket in the second ball of the final over and thus lost the match for his team. KKR finished with 153 for 9 to lose the contest by 4 runs. Azhar Mahmood was the bowling hero for the hosts taking 3 for 21 while Manpreet Gony got the Man of the Match for his batting and also his bowling efforts of 4-0-18-1.
Toss and Teams: Kolkata Knight Riders have won the toss and asked Kings XI Punjab to bat first at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. Kings XI Punjab have omitted Ryan Harris and brought in David Miller, the South African batsman.
Kings XI Punjab: Mandeep Singh, Adam Gilchrist (Captain and Wicket Keeper), Manan Vohra, David Miller, David Hussey, Azhar Mahmood, Gurkeerat Singh, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Manpreet Gony, Parvinder Awana
Kolkata Knight Riders: Manvinder Bisla (Wicket Keeper), Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Jacques Kallis, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Eoin Morgan, Debabrata Das, Rajat Bhatia, Sachithra Senanayake, Sunil Narine, Lakshmipathy Balaji