M24 : Kings XI Punjab choked in the last 4 overs
Kings XI Punjab, after being 115 for no loss in chase of 164, posted their fifth consecutive loss as Kolkata Knight Riders managed to choke them for a two-run win. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal struck half-centuries but KKR made a stunning comeback in the last two overs with Prasidh Krishna and Sunil Narine scripting their win. Dinesh Karthik was the wrecker-in-chief with the bat as his 29-ball 58 helped KKR post a competitive total.
It looked a pretty straight-forward one for the first 18 overs. KL Rahul was dropped by Andre Russell in the second over but after that there wasn't much penetration from the KKR bowlers. Prasidh Krishna drew the false shot and Russell did well to get to the ball, running back from mid-off. In what was a simple opportunity, Russell failed to hold on and while trying to save the boundary crashed into the advertising hoarding.
KXIP moved past 50 in the seventh over and past 100 in the 13th. Prasidh dismissed Mayank Agarwal in the 15th over but not before the opener had made 56 off 39. The equation then was 50 off 34. With KL Rahul set on 58, it still seemed as if KXIP had this in the bag. Nicholas Pooran smashed Kamlesh Nagarkoti for a six and a boundary in the 16th over to leave his side needing 29 in the last four. You can't really mess that up, can you?
Late wickets. Pooran wanted to finish things in a hurry but was bowled by Sunil Narine in the 18th over. Needing 20 off 12, Simran Singh wasn't able to take the pressure and fell to Prasidh. All this while, the KXIP dugout nervously pinned their hopes on Rahul. The KXIP captain, though, wasn't able to see his side home and fell on the last ball of the 19th to leave Mandeep Singh and Glenn Maxwell to get 14 off 6.
Dinesh Karthik had saved Narine for death overs once again with Russell not able to take the field. Maxwell struck a boundary off the third ball but Narine knocked over Mandeep on the fifth. Needing seven off the last ball, Chris Jordan struck a four as KKR managed to somehow squeeze another win.
They posted the second-lowest powerplay score in IPL 2020 - making 25 for 2 - as Shami knocked out Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana was run out. While Shami did get the wicket, Arshdeep was particularly impressive as he started with a wicket maiden and then gave away just two in his second.
Eoin Morgan and Shubman Gill collaborated to score 49 for the third wicket and took the side to 60 for 2 at the half-way mark. Bishnoi removed Morgan but Gill ensured he held his end up and kept the runs coming.
The real impetus in the innings though came from a resurgent Karthik. It was a six against Mujeeb ur Rahman that helped the KKR captain get going as he moved to 13 off 8 after making a slow start. In the 16th over, Karthik tore into Arshdeep as he smashed the young bowler for 14 to get the late assault going. Between overs 13 and 18, Karthik ensured KKR scored 71 runs to race past 140.
Arshdeep gave away just nine in the 19th over of the innings and accounted for Andre Russell to help restrict the damage. Chris Jordan finished well as well, but was expensive overall, as KKR had to settle for a par score.
KXIP had gone for 32.5 overs without a wicket before this game but were exceptional on a slow track. They lost their way a touch between overs 13 and 18. In hindsight, Gill could have tried to up the ante much earlier and may have helped the side touch 180. Arshdeep, Bishnoi and Shami made the difference in the end.
KXIP enjoy a four-day break before taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah on October 15. KKR don't have much to think on the win as they move to Sharjah on October 12 to play Virat Kohli's men.
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 164/6 in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 58, Shubman Gill 57; Ravi Bishnoi 1-25) beat Kings XI Punjab 162/5 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 74, Mayank Agarwal 56; Prasidh Krishna 3-29, Sunil Narine 2-28) by two runs.