REPORT: KKR promoted Sunil Narine to opener and made it eight consecutive wins in a row against Kings XI Punjab after they defeated the visitors by eight wickets.
KKR predictably opted to bat second on Thursday after winning the toss chose to chase and restricted the visitors to 170 for nine.
Sunil Narine was promoted to the role of pinch-hitter and joined captain Gautam Gambhir to blaze a stand of 76 runs in the six over Powerplay.
In the fifth over, Narine welcomed Varun Aaron with two sixes and a boundary, but was dismissed off the fourth ball when he picked the man at deep midwicket. The Trinidadian spinner hit 4 fours and 3 sixes in his 18-ball 37.
Robin Uthappa, Gambhir’s anticipated opening partner in the absence of the injured Chris Lynn, made 26 from 16 balls before he tried the ramp shot against Azar Patel and was bowled.
Gambhir showed all of his experience to maximise his runs in the Powerplay (31 from 16) before realising that the required rate was comfortable and batting accordingly. He led his team off with an unbeaten 76 from 49 balls to his name and had collected 11 fours in the process. Manish Pandey chipped in with 25 as KKR won with 21 balls to spare. .
For KXIP, four of the five pacers used had a forgettable night; together, the three Sharmas – Sandeep, Ishant and Mohit, and Varun Aaron (1-23) conceded 97 runs in 10 overs.
Earlier, Hashim Amla (25 in 27 balls) and Manan Vohra (28 from 19) had raced out of the traps and KXIP were soon 53 for none by the end of the fifth over. Piyush Chawla then struck with his first delivery in the sixth over when he bowled Vohra with a googly.
Marcus Stoinis was promoted to No3 but made only 9 and Glenn Maxwell, in great touch in KXIP’s previous matches hit Chawla. Colin de Grandhomme, the Kiwi all-rounder in debut, dismissed Amla.
Umesh Yadav (4-33) then began to derail KXIP. He had Maxwell (25 from 14) nicking behind. David Miller (28 from 19) and WriddhimanSaha (25 from 18) then put on a fifth wicket stand of 57 runs in 32 balls, but Yadav had the last laugh. In the eighteenth over he took three wickets in four balls as he sent back both Miller and Saha. KXIP lost five wickets while adding 15 runs in the final 2.4 overs to eventually finish at 170-9. The visitors were at least 20-30 runs short of what they should have got after being 134-4 after 15 overs.
This is an exciting and very even IPL with most sides fancying their chances of success. With KXIP’s defeat they were the final side to lose their unbeaten record in IPL 2017, but I still fancy them to lift the trophy in May.
Kings XI Punjab: 170-9 (Manan Vohra 28, David Miller 28, Umesh Yadav 4-33, Chris Woakes 2-30) Kolkata Knight Riders: (Sunil Narine 37, Gautam Gambhir 72*)
Man of the Match: Sunil Narine
IPL 2017 TABLE after MATCH 11
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
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