The score of 150 is indeed defendable at the Eden Gardens and post-match Kings XI Punjab’s skipper Adam Gilchrist too agreed on that. The track at Kolkata tends to get a bit sluggish and it required a master effort to successfully chase eight an over.
How often have we seen Eoin Morgan successfully finishing matches? Morgan along with Manvinder Bisla and Jacques Kallis provided the master effort for Kolkata Knightriders as they beat Kings XI by six wickets. Morgan definitely is one of the best finishers in limited overs cricket. It’s good to see him play more matches this season. Over the years, he has been one of key reasons for England’s coming good in the limited overs’ formats, and this season he is doing the same for KKR. Who can forget Bisla’s knock in the last edition’s final? His form this season has been one of the reasons for KKR’s position in the table. The half-century would do a world of good to his confidence. And isn’t it an asset to have someone like Jacques Kallis in the side? He once again lived up to the hype with his brilliant bowling effort of 2 for 14 and backing that up with a brisk 37. Batting has been a problem for Kolkata this season and more often than not they have heavily relied on individuals, so it was good to see partnerships. Against the Punjab outfit in Mohali last week, KKR displayed suicidal batting and lost the game, which they should have won comfortably. So in a way sweet revenge. Another loss would have not been good for the tournament. With the batting still looking timid with Yusuf Pathan still unsure about his role, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring someone into the eleven, named ‘Brendon McCullum’. Punjab on the other hand have looked very inconsistent. Catching needs to improve and though I hate saying this about a favourite cricketer, but Gilchrist needs to fire or make way. They play Mumbai Indians next at Wankhede. They would like to draw inspiration from their last year’s win at the same venue when a Shaun Marsh 68 off 40 balls spectacle saw Punjab chase down 164 against a dominant Mumbai attack. Brief Scores: KKR 150 for 5 in 18.2 overs [M Bisla 51(44)*, J Kallis 37(33), E Morgan 42(26), A Mahmood 4-0-35-3] beat KXIP 149 for 6 in 20 overs [M Vohra 31(21), Gurkeerat Singh 28(15)*, J Kallis 4-0-14-2] by six wickets (next I’ll send a review of RR-SRH game followed by MI-RCB, late in the night)