KKR Return to Winning Ways as Bowlers, Morgan Star vs Punjab

KKR’s win takes them above Punjab Kings to fifth after having started the day at the bottom of the table.

3 min read
Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan celebrate KKR’s win against Punjab. 

After a superb bowling display from Kolkata Knight Riders helped them restrict Punjab Kings to a small total, captain Eoin Morgan led from the front, taking his side to a five-wicket win with an unbeaten knock off 47. KKR’s win takes them above Punjab Kings to fifth after having started the day at the bottom of the table.

It wasn’t easy for KKR, whose top order collapsed, leaving Morgan and Rahul Tripathi to bring the chase back on track. Mayank Agarwal was the top scorer for Punjab with 31 as only 5 players got to double figures.

Batting first, Punjab got off to a slow start as both openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal unable to find momentum or the gaps in the powerplay. A few deliveries before the end of the powerplay, when KKR’s Shivam Mavi kept the batters tied up, Rahul looked to hit Pat Cummins for a second consecutive six but was caught by Sunil Narine for 19.

Off the next over, Chris Gayle was caught behind off Mavi for a first ball duck, bringing Deepak Hooda to the middle.

Hooda and Mayank too struggled to kick start a partnership with the middle-order bat being dismissed by Prasidh Krishna for 1, leaving Punjab at 42/3 in the 8th over.

Nicholas Pooran and Mayank tried to steady the ship and were almost settling in before KKR struck again. Narine had Mayank trying to pull and caught sharply by Rahul Tripathi for 31, as the innings continued its downward slide.

Narine then packed off Moises Henriques for 2 even as Pooran was starting to look for the big shots at the other end. With 6 overs to go, Punjab were 78/5 and in all sorts of trouble.

However, Pooran would not be able to drag Punjab out of trouble as he was clean bowled by Varun Chakravarthy for 19.

Chris Jordan and Shahrukh Khan, facing the last five and a half overs, had to attack but KKR’s bowlers continued to be on the money, stifling the lower order.

Moises Henriques loses his bat while trying to play a shot. 
Moises Henriques loses his bat while trying to play a shot. 
Image: BCCI

Under pressure, Shahrukh struggled too, like the others, and was caught by Morgan for 13 off Prasidh Krishna in the 18th over. Ravi Bishnoi could not handle Cummins’ pace in the penultimate over and was dismissed for 1.

With Mohammed Shami at one end, Jordan threw the kitchen sink at Prasidh Krishna smashing him for a couple of sixes during his 18-ball-30 before losing his off stump off a slower one. Shami and Arshdeep added a couple of runs after that as Punjab finished with 123.

The wickets continued to fall after the change-over as Nitish Rana was dismissed for a first ball duck by Moises Henriques in the first over.

Rahul Tripathi kept it steady at his end but Shubman Gill yet again failed to make his chance count and was trapped LBW by Shami for 9. Sunil Narine was the next to follow for 0 when his miscued pull was caught brilliantly in the deep by Ravi Bishnoi, who ran 30 yards and took a diving catch, off Arshdeep Singh, leaving KKR struggling at 17/3.

Captain Morgan joined Tripathi and the duo steadied the ship with a much needed partnership. Tripathi however almost got runout early during the stand but was saved by his dive as Gayle hit the stumps directly.

Morgan hooked Shami for a 6 to get going as Tripathi settled in at the other end too. The duo brought up their 50-run partnership in the 9th over with KKR needing 56 more from then on in.

Tripathi unfortunately could not finish off the job but played an important hand in keeping KKR in the hunt for a much-needed win. Tripathi, who scored 41, was caught dismissed by Deepak Hooda as he looked to clear the long on boundary.

Andre Russell joined Morgan but could not tee off as he was kept quiet by Bishnoi and Shami and was eventually runout for 10, leaving KKR at 98/5.

However, Morgan, well settled by now took the attack to Hooda, with Dinesh Karthik more than happy to take the singles.

Off the next over, Karthik got into the act as well he finished things off with a couple of boundaries off Arshdeep.

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