Kings XI Punjab 132-9 (Chawla 3-19) beat
Kolkata Knight Riders 109 by 23 runs
Indian Premier Legaue 2014, Abu Dhabi
The Kings XI Punjab proved they can still win when their batsmen don't fire, their bowlers taking them to a 23-run win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in another low-scoring Indian Premier League 2014 match in Abu Dhabi.
After posting 132 for nine they dismissed the Knight Riders for 109 to make it four wins from four this season and seven in a row after winning their final three matches last year.
Chasing 133, Kolkata made a change to their batting order, with skipper Gautam Gambhir not opening the innings today.
However, It didn’t change things much, with Manish Pandey (8) going cheaply. Then Gambhir (1) followed, after opening his account for the first time in four matches, and by the fifth over, Jacques Kallis (9) too followed them back to the dugout leaving the Knight Riders reeling at 19 for three.
Chris Lynn (13) and Robin Uthappa (19) then added 31 runs for the fourth wicket as the 50-run mark came up in the 12th over.
But the run-rate was too slow and they needed to pick things up. That led to their downfall, as Lynn was bowled by Akshar Patel (2-16). It opened the floodgates, with Yusuf Pathan (3) and Uthappa following in quick succession
Suryakumar Yadav was the only Kolkata batsman to cross the 20-run mark, scoring 34 runs off 17 balls inclusive of three fours and one six, but his lone hand wasn’t sufficient.
Wickets kept falling regularly at the other end, as the target seemed more and more distant, and finally the innings folded in the penultimate over.
Sandeep Sharma (3-21) was the best bowler for Punjab, while Mitchell Johnson (2-22) pitched in as well. Lakshmipathy Balaji (1-21) and Rishi Dhawan (1-24) picked a wicket each.
Earlier, Kolkata won the toss and elected to field first. The Kings XI didn’t get off to a great start themselves, losing Cheteshwar Pujara (8) early.
Wriddhiman Saha (14) was sent up the order ahead of the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell (15). The former failed and for the first time in this tournament, the latter failed as well, leaving Punjab at 58 for three in the eighth over.
Opener Virender Sehwag was their top scorer with 37 runs off 30 balls, with three fours and one six, and he strung together small partnerships with Saha, Maxwell and then David Miller (14).
They needed one big partnership but it didn’t come, with wickets falling at regular intervals.
Kolkata leg-spinner Piyush Chawla (3-19) did the damage in the middle overs, while Sunil Narine (3-24) did so in the final overs, the latter taking all his wickets in the penultimate over of the innings.
This left Punjab well short of what they would have aimed to be when going out to bat. Morne Morkel (1-26) and Jacques Kallis (1-32) were the other wicket-takers.
This win consolidates Kings XI’s position at the top of the points table with eight points from four out of four wins, while Kolkata are in fourth spot, with four points from two wins in four games.
© Cricket World 2014