Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) recorded their second win of the season by beating Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Match 21 of the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday.
Needing 124 runs to win, KKR were in early trouble after they lost two wickets in the first two overs. Nitish Rana was out for a duck after the left-hander hit a full-toss from Moises Henriques straight to cover while Shubman Gill was trapped in front, trying to play across the line against Mohammad Shami.
In the very next over, Sunil Narine got out after Ravi Bisnoi took a brilliant diving catch at deep mid-wicket, reducing KKR to 17/3. Morgan counter-attacked straight away after the left-hander smacked a four and a six in the fourth over against Shami. Tripathi, on the other hand, creamed two fours against Arshdeep Singh as KKR recovered after a poor start, finishing the powerplay at 42/3.
Tripathi further capitalized and scored 13 off Chris Jordan’s first over, including three fours. KKR skipper, on the other end, was rotating the strike, allowing Tripathi to play the aggressor role as the duo brought up their fifty partnership for the fourth wicket.
Deepak Hooda came to the rescue for PBKS and broke the partnership after Tripathi, after scoring 41, was caught at long-on by Shahrukh Khan. Andre Russell joined the KKR skipper who was well settled at the crease and struck two fours as KKR required 26 off the last six overs. The big-hitter was run-out at the non-striker’s end, courtesy a direct hit from Arshdeep from the short third man.
Morgan took on Hooda and smashed a four and a six over extra-cover in the 16th over while Dinesh Karthik provided the finishing touch with two fours as KKR chased down the total with five wickets in hand. Earlier, PBKS, who made one change to their playing XI, bringing in Jordan to replace Fabian Allen, were put in to bat first on a fresh surface in Ahmedabad.
Mayank Agarwal got things going after a quiet first over, with a six against Cummins, followed by a four from PBKS skipper, KL Rahul. Mayank creamed another four as PBKS added 15 runs in the next 3 overs. Rahul smacked his first six of the innings off Cummins but was on his way to the next ball after trying to clear the ropes again as the Punjab Kings were 37/1 after the end of the powerplay.
PBKS then lost the wickets of Chris Gayle and Hooda in quick succession. While Gayle edged a delivery off Shivam Mavi, Hooda played it straight to Morgan at point off Prasidh Krishna’s bowling. Mayank, who was joined by Nicholas Pooran, pulled Prasidh Krishna for a six as PBKS were looking to up the ante.
The right-hander tried to target the short-side boundary against Narine but Rahul Tripathi took a magnificent catch in the deep to provide KKR their fourth wicket. Pooran smashed Varun Chakravarthy for a six and a four on consecutive deliveries. But KKR pulled back the things once again, dismissing Henriques and Pooran.
While Narine, who was back to bowl the 14th over, disturbed the timber to dismiss Henriques, Chakravarthy got Pooran out after the left-hander misread the spinner’s delivery and was castled. Shahrukh Khan, who was joined by Jordan, clobbered a massive six against Narine but the Punjab Kings were struggling at 95/6 with three overs to go.
The right-hander was back to the pavilion after trying to go aerial and was followed by Ravi Bishnoi after PBKS batsman got out in a similar fashion against Cummins. Jordan added some useful runs in the penultimate over after smashing Cummins for a four and a six followed by two huge sixes off Prasidh Krishna. The right-hander got out but got PBKS to 123-9 at the end of 20 overs.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 126/5 (Eoin Morgan 47*, Rahul Tripathi 41; Moises Henriques 1/5) beat Punjab Kings 123/9 (Mayank Agarwal 31, Chris Jordan 30; Prasidh Krishna 3/30) by 5 wickets.