MOHALI: After a loss against Gujarat Lions on Sunday, Kings XI Punjab’s Hashim Amla had said he was happy to still be in the fray. On Tuesday, though he played no part, his team won in style. The home crowd played a major role in the nail-biting match against Kolkata Knight Riders as their team registered a 14-run victory.
After being put in, this was the perfect chance for Martin Guptill to finally make a mark.
He started well, as a poor delivery from Kuldeep Yadav was flicked to fine-leg for a four. Fellow opener Manan Vohra was more attacking, and reeled out a few perfectly-timed boundaries against Sunil Narine and Kuldeep.
But Punjab suffered their first blow in the fifth over as Vohra was caught behind. Six balls later, Narine got the better of Guptill to end another disappointing innings from the Kiwi.
After the fall of Shaun Marsh, entered skipper Glenn Maxwell and hit the first six of the match. That it came in the 12th over shows how good KKR were. Maxwell with Wriddhiman Saha added 71 for the fourth wicket. Maxwell was in the mood and went for a big shot, but did not get enough power. Credit to Chris Woakes who took a diving catch. Kuldeep struck again two overs later. Noticing an advancing Saha, he delivered a googly well outside off.
The batsman missed it and it was easy for the keeper. Axar Patel, Swapnil Singh and Rahul Tewatia made sure the hosts reached a decent 167.
KKR started well with Narine and Chris Lynn doing their part. Sandeep Sharma and Matt Henry were at the receiving end. But the hosts got a breakthrough in the fifth over, when Mohit Sharma sent back Narine. Lynn, however, helped KKR post 61 runs at the end of powerplay.
The ninth and 17th overs were crucial for Punjab. Rahul Tewatia got Gambhir and Robin Uthappa in the ninth to change the pace of the game. Manish Pandey tried his best with Lynn to get Kolkata going but nothing was going their way. Henry, one of the replacements, sealed the match with the first two balls of the 17th over. After tricking Pandey with a slow ball, he got the big wicket of Lynn. It was only a matter of time after that as Maxwell’s boys wrapped the game to stay in the hunt for playoffs.
M W L NR PTS NRR
MI 12 9 3 0 18 +0.903
KKR 13 8 5 0 16 +0.729
RPS 12 8 4 0 16 -0.060
SRH 13 7 5 1 15 +0.541
KXIP 12 6 6 0 12 +0.280
GL 12 4 8 0 8 -0.369
DD 11 4 7 0 8 -0.660
RCB 13 2 10 1 5 -1.454