Kings XI stumbles Kolkata Riders
Gautam Gambhir stupendous batting and Sunil Narine’s splendid hat-trick went in-vain as Kings XI Punjab made a miraculous comeback to stun defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders by four runs in a thrilling match.
In the end it was Manpreet Gony’s 18-ball 42 which made the difference for Kings XI Punjab.
Chasing a decent target of 158, KKR managed 153 for nine in the end despite a 105-run second wicket partnership between Gambhir (60, 39 balls, 8×4) and Eoin Morgan (47, 38 balls, 6×4).
With 11 runs required off the last over bowled by Praveen Kumar, KKR only managed six giving the hosts their second win in four matches. This is Kings XI’s second win from four matches while KKR’s woeful away record continued as they have now lost their third game on the road.
From a comfortable 106 for two in 13 overs, KKR batsmen required only 52 off 42 balls but once the two set batsmen were out in quick succession, things changed rapidly.
Manoj Tiwary (1, 7 balls) and ‘Million Dollar’ man Yusuf Pathan (13, 16 balls) wasted 14 deliveries in between them as Manpreet Gony (1/18 in 4 overs) and Azhar Mahmood (3/21 in 4 overs) bowled brilliantly to get the home team back in the match.
Needing 11 runs off the final over, Adam Gilchrist saved what would have been 5 wides of the first delivery from Praveen Kumar. Praveen (2/26) then kept his cool as he first removed Yusuf out of the equation and gave away only six runs to bring cheer for the home team.
The KKR batsmen can only blame themselves for this shock defeat as they committed harakiri towards the end.
Rajat Bhatia (16) tried his best with a couple of sixes but that certainly wasn’t enough in the end. Gony, playing his first game of the season certainly made a big impact in the final outcome of the encounter.
Narine achieved the landmark with his last three deliveries of the 15th over of the innings. First, he bowled a fast off-break that David Hussey (12) found very little room to play the cut-shot. Veteran Azhar Mahmood (0) closed his bat face off the very next delivery as the leading edge looped up for the bowler to complete an easy return catch. The ‘hat-trick delivery’ was easily the best of the lot as domestic batsman Gurkeerat Singh (0) had absolutely no clue about the delivery that turned the other way to peg the off-stump back. The Punjab youngster played for the turn and was foxed in the process.