Chris Gayle and KL Rahul notched up 60s for Kings XI Punjab (126-1, DRS) to gift them a comfortable victory against Kolkata Knight Riders (191-7) in a rain-curtailed match.
The match between KKR and KXIP at the former’s home ground at Eden Gardens was the battle for clinching the top spot on the points table and KXIP did just that. Put in to bat, KKR opener Chris Lynn (74) and Vice-captain Robin Uthappa (34) consolidated the innings after early loss of Sunil Narine’s (1) wicket.
After Uthappa (34) fell to Ashwin (4-33-1), skipper Dinesh Karthik (43) who has hit a purple patch milked the KXIP bowling along with Lynn. At one point, KKR looked set to go well beyond 200. However, Lynn and Andre Russell (10) failed to provide the final impetus this time as Kolkata fell short of the magic figure.
192 seemed a substantial target and it looked as if a close match was at our hands. However, the way KL Rahul and Chris Gayle batted, it made life hell for the KKR bowlers, especially in the Powerplay overs. After their terrific display, heavy rain poured down and play had to be stopped.
When rain stopped play Punjab were cruising along towards the target at 96-0 with Rahul at 46* and Gayle just one run shy of his third consecutive half century of IPL 2018.
When play resumed, the fresh target for KXIP was 125 runs in 13 overs, which they chased down comfortably, with both Rahul and Gayle amassing 60s.
After Narine (3-23-1) removed Rahul, Mayank Agarwal (2) just completed the formalities to take Punjab over the line by 9 wickets.
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