Kolkata Knight Riders win another last-ball thriller as Punjab Kings slip up again
The Eden Gardens rejoined with the chants of “KKR, KKR” as the home team managed to steal the win from the hands of Punjab Kings. Shikhar Dhawan was visibly disappointed as another decent effort from the skipper went straight into desolate.
Shikhar Dhawan won the coin toss and chose to bat first. Vaibhav Arora bowled the first over which turned out to be pretty expensive as Prabhsimran Singh set the tone by smashing three fours.
The skipper also fixed his feet in the ground with a boundary against the new bowler, Harshit Rana who gave Kolkata the first breakthrough as he got Prabhsimran caught behind by Rahmatullah Gurbaz. Problems increased for the Kings as Harshit sent Bhanuka Rajapaksa back to the pavilion on a duck in his second over in a similar fashion.
The fifth over went in the favor of Punjab as Liam Livingston smashed three consecutive boundaries but the English powerhouse failed to read the googly by Varun Chakravarthy and went back to the pavilion following an lbw appeal by the spinner.
As the field restrictions got lifted, Suyash Sharma got the ball, however, a ruthless Jitesh Sharma hammered a maximum over the KKR spinner’s half-tracker. As the partnership reached the 50-run mark, Chakravarthy dismissed the Punjab Kings wicket-keeper with a leg-break delivery, caught behind by Gurbaz yet again.
In the 13th over, Dhawan completed his 41-ball half-century. With a change in tactics, KKR’s skipper, Nitish Rana came to bowl the 14th and the gamble played out to be successful as he won the battle of the two skippers following a sharp catch by Vaibhav Arora.
In the next over, Rishi Dhawan hit a huge maximum to signal intent against Chakravarthy’s half-tracker but the spinner instantly got his revenge on the next ball with his delivery smashing the wickets. Following the wicket, Suyash also dismissed Sam Curran for cheap bucks. The Kings reached a total of 179 with the help of Shahrukh Khan and Harpreet Brar’s fired-up innings in the end.
To chase a target of 180, Kolkata Knight Riders’ impact player, Jason Roy, and wicket-keeper, Rahmatullah Gurbaz came on the ground. After hitting a six and a four, the Afghan batter was dismissed by Nathan Ellis.
KKR played safely in the powerplay as they scored 52 runs losing only one wicket. Harpreet Brar got his hand on the ball and he did exactly what he was expected to as he dismissed Roy courtesy of an unsure attempt of hitting a slog-sweep.
After the wicket, Kolkata’s run rate took a dig but Nitish Rana was trying his best to score at least a boundary in every over. As the fixture started moving towards its climax, Rahul Chahar broke the 51-run partnership between Venkatesh Iyer and Nitesh Rana with a googly.
In his last over, Chahar again turned out to be dangerous for Kolkata Knight Riders as he sent their skipper back to the pavilion just after he completed his half-century. It seemed like the match was in the strong grasp of Dhawan’s side. After the dismissal of the whole top order, Andre Russell and Rinku Singh came as Knight Riders’ saviors.
Boundaries after boundaries, the two all-rounders were making the bowlers frustrated. After a 15-run over by Nathan Ellis, Nitesh Rana’s side required 36 runs off the remaining three overs. Arshdeep failed to find a breakthrough for his side, as lucky Rinku got a top-edge four to make the over expensive.
Three big maximums from the bat of the West Indies all-rounder in the penultimate over left the Knight Riders with six runs to chase off Arshdeep’s last over. However, a wide yorker left Russell stunned as he also later got run out on the same delivery. Rinku Singh made sure Kolkata Knight Riders go home with 3 points as he sealed the victory by a four. Following his game-changing innings, Andre Russell was named the Player of the Match.
The Knight Riders have another home match coming up against a side that is not doing superbly of late as they host Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens Stadium on Thursday whilst Dhawan’s men will enjoy a short break before resuming duties against Delhi Capitals in the capital city on Saturday evening.