Uthappa, Gambhir Shine as Kolkata Knight Riders Take Down KXIP

Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by seven runs at Kolkata on Wednesday.

3 min read
Robin Uthappa. (Photo: PTI)

Andre Russell picked up figures of four wickets for twenty runs as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by seven runs at Kolkata on Wednesday.

While chasing KKR’s modest total of 164/3, the Kings XI Punjab got off to a disastrous start. They lost their top three batsmen - Murali Vijay, Marcus Stoinis and Manan Vohra with just thirteen runs on the board.

The Punjab team had some hope when Wriddhiman Saha (24 from 20 balls) was batting but the local lad got out to a poor shot dragging a wide delivery onto his stumps.

At 53/4 in 9 overs, the Kings were staring at their sixth loss this season but Maxwell (68) held fort with his superb innings which was laced with six fours and four sixes to keep them in the hunt. He strung a crucial 67-run partnership from 40 balls with David Miller (13).

But Piyush Chawla (2/27) trapped the Aussie with a wrong one to swing the fortunes for KKR in the 16th over.

There was more drama in store when the Patel smacked Russell to two successive sixes as KXIP needed 12 runs from the last over but Russell ran out the left-hander in the second ball to seal the show.

Glenn Maxwell. (Photo: BCCI)
Glenn Maxwell. (Photo: BCCI)

Earlier, half-centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa gave Kolkata Knight Riders a perfect launchpad before Kings XI Punjab pulled things back to restrict the hosts to a modest total.

Put into bat, the two-time former champions once again got off to solid start with Gambhir (54 from 45 balls; 6x4, 1x6) and Uthappa (70 from 49 balls; 6x4, 2x6) setting up a firm foundation in a 101-run partnership from 13.3 overs.

It was their highest opening wicket stand this season, and third overall century partnership, that put them in right stead but their star duo of Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell failed to bring up their last match’s heroics to be content with a total which could have been much bigger.

KKR could score only 43 runs in the last five overs as Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell managed just 27 runs together in 19 balls.

Gautam Gambhir. (Photo: BCCI)
Gautam Gambhir. (Photo: BCCI)

As it turned out, all the three wickets to fall were runouts beginning with Gambhir, who was dismissed following a misjudgment at the non-striking end in the 14th over.

Gambhir ran half way down the strip but only to turn back realising a non-existent run as Glenn Maxwell’s direct throw gave them their first breakthrough.

In the same over, Uthappa, having completed his half century with a boundary through covers, was dropped by Mohit Sharma at long off boundary.

Uthappa too became the victim of a run-out from the nonstriking end after Yusuf remained static at his crease while his partner had run all the way down. It was too late to turn back with Mohit Sharma beating Uthappa with a direct hit at the non-striker’s end.

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