Kolkata Knight Riders 164 for 6 (Karthik 58, Gill 57, Arshdeep 1-25, Bishnoi 1-25) beat Kings XI Punjab (Rahul 74, Agarwal 56, Krishna 3-29, Narine 2-28) by two runs
Oh, Kings XI Punjab. They had it under control, and they blew it. Again.
They needed 21 off 17, with nine wickets in hand. And then, somehow, they contrived to turn it into a situation where two new batsmen – literally; neither had faced a ball yet – needed to hit 14 off the last over. Against Sunil Narine. Good luck with that.
Narine varied his pace masterfully, and kept landing the ball tantalisingly short or wide of the batsmen’s hitting arc. And Glenn Maxwell, not at his best this season but seldom getting the time or space he might need to bat himself into rhythm, found the boundary twice.
There was a switch-hit that landed a few meters short of carrying for six. That brought the equation down to eight off three balls. And then there here was a fall-away slice over extra-cover that fell inches – maybe the plural isn’t necessary – short of carrying for six. A few more inches, and Kings XI would have taken this into a Super Over. But it fell short, and so did Kings XI. Again.
Despite getting the worst of the conditions – the pitch started out two-paced before settling down nicely – and despite losing one of their key end-overs bowlers, Andre Russell, to a knee injury, the Kolkata Knight Riders had pulled this out of the hat, like the best T20 teams do. They’ve not always been at their best yet this season, but they have four wins from six games.
Kings XI have one win from seven, and mostly have themselves to blame for it.
More to follow..
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