Win the toss and bowl first have been the main Mantra for the teams playing IPL and once again the trick worked as KKR after getting their 11 players on the field first, went on to post a tricksy win over KXIP.
To everyone’s surprise, Sunil Narine came to open the innings for KKR in place of Chris Lynn. The punt to promote Narine worked in his team’s favour as the specialist bowler fired 37 runs in just 18 deliveries, to kick off KKR’s innings in fifth gear. His knock included three sixes, out of which two came from the first two deliveries of Varun Aaron’s first spell before he was caught at the ropes, this time failing to clear the fence.
However, Narine contributed much more than what was expected from him. His innings was a lottery for KKR as the successive batsmen continued to put the leg on the accelerator deep, to cash upon the great start and to further exploit the down in confidence bowling line-up to roar at their on their home ground.
The home side went on to post a win in 16.3 overs, with a six off Manish Pandey’s bat. Gautam Gambhir top-scored for the team with a score of 72* to lead the side from the front.
Earlier after being asked to bat, Kings XI Punjab openers led a strong base as a pair of Manan Vohra and Hashim Amla combined 53 runs for the first wicket in 5.1 overs at a rate of 10 runs per over. The trend of big hitting was continued by the middle order as well as never in the first 10 overs, any batsmen barring Hashim Amla looked to play defensively. It was probably due to Amla’s approach that led a small drop in run rate but still, KXIP was on the right track.
Till 15th over, the scorecard showed a tally of runs 134 runs and that was the time when KKR had to lift up the graph, but three dents in a single over from Umesh Yadav jeopardised hopes of KXIP to put a good total as they could just add 36 runs in the last five, to finish out with a score of 170.
The 18th over of the game just changed the course visitors batting as after being hit for six and a four on fire two deliveries, Yadav dismissed aggressive David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel to break hopes of Punjab.
It was a majestic show from the home side where once again the trend of team batting second winning the game continued.
Brief Score: KKR (Gautam Gambhir 72*, Sunil Narine 37; Varun Aaron 1-23) defeat KXIP (David Miller 28, Manan Vohra 28; Umesh Yadav 4-33) by eight wickets at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
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