Kings XI Punjab bowlers came up with a spirited performance today and looked promising in the start of the game as they bagged early wickets by departing Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana in the 1st powerplay but a solid batting partnership between Shubhman Gill and skipper Dinesh Karthik powered KKR to 164/6 against KXIP at Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Kolkata today registered the second-lowest powerplay total (25/2) in IPL 2020 after Delhi Capitals (23/2). KKR are, placed at fourth position in the points table, are favorites in today’s game and will be happy to climb up the ladder with win over already struggling Punjab, who if lose today will not be able to qualify for the play-offs.
Like previous games, KKR were looking to get off another flyer as they send regular openers Shuhman Gill and recently-picked opener Rahul Tripathi to start the proceeding. For KXIP, Mohammed Shami got the early breakthrough by removing in-form Rahul Tripathi for just 4 runs.
Sending Tripathi as an opener by replacing Sunil Narine, was a successful experiment in the last game as he was the highest scorer for KKR but this time he failed to score runs with the bat.
Another in-form batsman Nitish Rana was dismissed cheaply for just 2 runs, unfortunately it was a run-out that ended his short stay at the crease, courtesy a brilliant fielding effort from Nicholas Pooran. Kolkata were now in deep trouble with their star top-order batsmen getting dismissed in the 1st powerplay only.
To put some pressure back on KXIP, Eoin Morgan smashes the ball for a blistering boundary to completes his 1000 runs in IPL after Kolkata registered the second-lowest powerplay total (25/2) in IPL 2020 after Delhi Capitals (23/2).
Eoin Morgan and Shubman Gill rotated the strike and hit a couple of boundaries to add some crucial runs for the 3rd wicket but Punjab bowlers had still ensured not to bowl lose deliveries to them and give any room so that they could score runs easily.
Ravi Bishnoi managed to bag the big fish and break the important stand by getting Eoin Morgan out for 24(23 b). The young spinner outfoxed Morgan as Glenn Maxwell bagged a very easy catch at long-on. In the 16th over, KKR opener Gill registered his sixth IPL half-century off just 42 balls and also notched up a hard-fought fifty partnership with skipper Dinesh Karthik.
Dinesh Karthik was on fire with the bat and collected some back-to-back boundaries off Chris Jordan to quickly moved to 42* off 18 balls. The KKR skipper continued to be in the groove by bringing his 50 up off just 22 balls. His partner Shubman Gill got run out in the 18th over by Mandeep/Simran Singh for a well-made 57 off just 47 balls.
Russell was looking to up the ante by was departed by Arshdeep Singh for just five runs and this wicket made the difference of at least 10 runs to the final over. Pat Cummins was the next man in. In the last few overs, Karthik continued his onslaught and helped his team reach 164/6 in their allotted 20 overs.