Kings XI Punjab put up a good score on the board at Mohali against Kolkata Knight Riders. But the Kolkata batsmen were successful in putting together partnerships and bettering the score with 2 overs to spare. That means Kings XI is out of the race of the lone position available in the final four who will feature in the playoffs. Knight Riders will be hoping to get the better of Mumbai Indians on Sunday and possibly take the only place available for the playoffs.
Kings XI lost KL Rahul early to a Sandeep Warrier slow delivery which ended up in Chris Lynn’s hand at mid-on. An over later, Shubhman Gill stationed at deep square leg happily caught Chris Gayle when he tried to scoop a short ball from Warrier. Mayank Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran set about repairing their team’s inning. The two took the score to 84 for 2 wickets at the halfway mark with Pooran being the dominant partner. When Nitish Rana had Pooran caught by Warrier, the West Indian had scored 48 runs from 27 balls half the runs coming from sixes.
A couple of overs later Agarwal (36 from 26 balls) was caught short of the crease to a good throw from Arshdeep Singh from deep mid-wicket. Even as Mandeep Singh (25 runs from 17 balls) and Ravichandran Ashwin fell in quick succession Sam Curran was making his mark with an intelligent inning. It looked as though the Kolkata bowlers were bowling exactly where Curran wanted them to bowl. He plundered 22 runs from the last over bowled by Harry Gurney to take the Kings XI score to an impressive 183 runs. Curran hit 7 boundaries and 2 sixes on his way to an unbeaten 55 off 24 balls.
When the Knight riders started their chase, Chris Lynn took the game to the bowlers as Shubhman Gill played second fiddle. Lynn (46 runs off 22 balls) was caught and bowled by Andrew Tye off the last ball before powerplay but not before the batsman had hit 5 boundaries and 3 sixes leaving Knights XI at 62 runs for 1 wicket. Robin Uthappa and Shubhman Gill then put together 38 runs for the second wicket of which Uthappa scored 22 from 14 balls. Shubhman Gill who was scoring at about a run a ball then took after Ravichandran Ashwin. He belted 18 runs off Ashwin's last over including 2 sixes and a four.
Andrew Russell hit two boundaries and two sixes in his 24 off 14 balls and when he was out KKR needed just 34 runs from 31 balls. Dinesh Kartik scored two boundaries and a six in the eighteenth over bowled by Sam Curran to see KKR home with two overs to go. Shubhman Gill and Dinesh Kartik remained not out, the former having scored 65 runs from 49 balls. Kartik finished with 21 runs from the 9 balls that he had faced. The explosive opening stand and meaningful partnerships thereafter had made it easier for Knight Riders to make a competitive total look like an easy chase.