Mohali, Apr 18: After the bowlers had done the initial hard work by keeping Kings XI Punjab to 124/7, captain Gautam Gambhir ensured a smooth eight-wicket victory for Kolkata Knight Riders here on Wednesday night.
It was a low-scoring affair in Game 22 of IPL 5 at the PCA Stadium. Once the home team had disappointed with the bat, it was tough for their bowlers to defend such a small total.
Chasing 125, Kolkata reached the target in 16.3 overs, with their score reading 127/2. Jacques Kallis sealed the win with a straight six.
In a similar chase against the same team, Kolkata had fallen short by two runs at the Eden Gardens few days ago. Gambhir was livid with his batsmen that day and today he wanted to stay till the end and get the job done himself. The left-hander was the top scorer in the match with a 44-ball 66 with seven boundaries and one six. Kallis was 30 not out.
With this win, Kolkata jumped to third in points table with six points from six games. Punjab have four points from five matches and stay at seventh.
Kings XI Punjab Innings Report
Kolkata Knight Riders restricted Kings XI Punjab to a paltry 124/7 in 20 overs in Game 22 of IPL 5 here at the PCA Stadium on Wednesday night.
Punjab needed 16.3 overs to reach 100. This shows how Kolkata strangled the opposition batsmen. Captain Adam Gilchrist, who had to retire hurt due to hamstring injury and then returned to bat, topscored with 40 not out.
Brett Lee and Sunil Narine took two wickets each while Lakshmipathy Balaji and Rajat Bhatia had one wicket each. It was a fine bowling effort by the visitors on a grassy pitch which was not easy for stroke-making. But still, 124 might not be enough for the home team to notch another win.
Paul Valthaty, who was dropped from the previous game due to lack of runs, returned to the top of the order. But his comeback lasted only eight balls for 8 runs.
The right-hander, who caught the eye with some fine performances last IPL, has so far been struggling.
Gilchrist had to retire hurt after what appeared to be a hamstring injury. He left the field with 28 runs. Gilchrist came out to bat again after the fall of the fifth wicket in the 17th over with his side struggling at 101/5.
Punjab had to wait till the last over to register their first six, courtesy their captain.
Two Australians Shaun Marsh and David Hussey tried their best to improve things in the middle. But they could not score boundaries as Kolkata bowlers maintained a disciplined line and length.
Left-hander Marsh was controversially dismissed as the ball appeared to have bounced before settling into wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla’s gloves off Brett Lee.
Marsh asked Bisla whether it was a clean catch and the latter nodded. Marsh walked off trusting Bisla’s word. But a close look at the replays indicated that the ball might have bounced.
Punjab’s co-owner Preity Zinta was furious with the decision and walked on to the field to question the umpires during the strategic timeout. However, Gilchrist calmed things down.
Hussey followed his compatriot to the hutch after being run out.
Kings XI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist won the toss and elected to bat against Kolkata Knight Riders
"Looks like a beautiful. It is a nice track," said Gilchrist. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir said he would have bowled first if he had won the toss. We have not played well as an unit, he said.
KKR have dropped Shakib Al Hasan and Ryan ten Doeschate and replaced them with Brendon McCullum and Brett Lee. Also Lakshmipathy Balaji takes Jaidev Unadkat's place.
Punjab made one change bringing back Paul Valthaty in place of Bipul Sharma.
"We have got a side to play on any track. We have lot of quality in the dressing room. I hope we play to our potential," added Gambhir.
Both these teams enter this encounter with two wins apiece. Kolkata are in fifth position in the Points Table with four points from five games. Punjab are at seventh with same number of points from four matches. Kolkata have a better net run rate than their rivals having played an extra match.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (captain and wicketkeeper), Paul Valthaty, Shaun Marsh, Mandeep Singh, Piyush Chawla, David Hussey, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Harmeet Singh, Praveen Kumar, Bhargav Bhatt, Paras Dogra.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Jacques Kallis, Manvinder Bisla (wicketkeeper), Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Rajat Bhatia, Laxmipathy Balaji, Sunil Narine, Debabrata Das, Brendon McCullum, Brett Lee.
Umpires: Johan Cloete (South Africa) and Rod Tucker (Australia)
Third Umpire: S Ravi (India)
Match Referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)