The match saw Kolkata Knight Riders coming up with yet another victorious performance, making the most of the crucial death overs – wherein their bowlers pulled up their sock (especially Andre Russell) resulting in successfully defending their total.
|Kings XI Punjab||vs||Kolkata Knight Riders|
|Date||04 May 2016|
|Venue||Eden Gardens, Kolkata|
|157/9 (20)||164/3 (20)|
Knight Riders won by 7 runs
The match began by KKR losing the toss and being put into bat by Kings XI. In one of rare occasions of it’s kind, Kings XI played only 3 foreign players as opposed to the limit of maximum 4 (which teams usually make the most of). Punjab has lost Shaun Marsh and Amla arrived on the same day as the match and therefore perhaps they were forced to play only 3 foreign players.
KKR decided to play an additional spinner due to the playing conditions being favorable to them. Hogg and Shakib both made their way back into the side.
It was yet again solid opening stand between Gambhir and Uthappa – proving that KKR depend heavily on these two to get them off to a good start and once they did; the stage was pretty much set for pinch hitters in Yusuf and Russell to make the most of the situation.
By virtue of 54 in 45 balls, Gambhir is now 2nd in the highest run scorers list, behind Kohli by approx. 40 runs. Uthappa too had a run-making outing; 70 in 49 balls meant that KKR were going really strong after completion of 17 overs – 137-2.
It did look that 170 is very much achievable considering that Russell and Yusuf can very easily clear the boundary but Eden Gardens is not a small ground and neither was the pitch favorable to the batsmen, the end total for KKR could only be 164 – 3 (Russell run-out on the last ball of the innings).
In it’s chase, the Kings XI Punjab desperately needed their openers to click but as has been the tale for them through the season, it was yet another poor show at the top order.
At 13-3 (Stoinis, Vijay and Vohra were back to the pavilion) and though Saha showed little resistance with his 24, he too got out when the score was 53.
The onus of taking the team anywhere close to the target was on Maxwell – who for the first time this season played true to his potential. Classy, elegant and aggressive – just how we know him to be; Maxwell’s 68 in 42 gave Kings XI some hope of chasing the score but losing his wicket to Chawla (LBW) in attempt to play a reverse sweep; which frankly is not what the situation demanded but with Maxwell, you really can’t criticize because that’s his usual style.
Miller had yet another poor match, failing to time the ball and looking helpless to clear the boundary. He faced 18 deliveries for his 13.
It was however 2 sixes in the first 2 balls that Axar Patel faced off Russell in the 18th over which got Punjab’s hopes of winning the match rising.
The last over demanded Punjab to make 12 runs but the man who had the responsibility of defending the total for KKR was Andre Russell – who very athletically got Axar Patel run-out and held onto his nerves to defend the total – it did seem at the time that Maxwell was batting that KKR might lose the match but Russell’s 4 wickets and 1 run-out was single-handedly enough to squeeze the match in KKR’s favor.