Uthappa Hits Third Quickest Fifty as KKR Win by Six Wickets
Robin Uthappa smashed his way to the third fastest half-century of the season as Kolkata Knight Riders notched a comfortable six-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League at Mohali on Tuesday.
Put into bat, Kings XI Punjab were restricted to 138 for eight in the stipulated 20 overs at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium.
Led by Uthappa’s blazing knock of 53 off 28 balls, the visitors chased down the target of 139 with 17 balls to spare.
KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir continued to lead the team well, scoring a run-a-ball 34.
Uthappa scored his 50 off 24 balls, before leg-spinner Pradeep Sahu had him trapped in front of wicket to end a fluent opening wicket partnership of 82 runs in just under nine overs.
The wicketkeeper-batsman struck nine boundaries in his breezy knock.
By the time Uthappa was heading back to the dugout, half the job was done for KKR, who were 93 for one midway into their chase.
Eyeing their third win of the season, KKR required 46 runs in the back 10 with Gambhir in control of the proceedings.
But just then, Gambhir fell to a brilliant catch by Glenn Maxwell, who ran in from the boundary to hold onto the ball.
Owing to Uthappa’s assault, Kings XI Punjab bowlers Sandeep Sharma, Kyle Abbott, Mohit Sharma and Maxwell conceded nearly 20 each in their first two overs.
Sahu was the most impressive of KXIP bowlers, returning figures of 2/18 in four overs. Axar Patel went straight through the defence of Manish Pandey (12) to KXIP their third breakthrough.
Shakib Al Hasan (11), who got a life when Manan Vohra made a mess off an easy chance at long-off, got out the very next ball when he skied one to Sandeep Sharma off Patel.
Yusuf Pathan (12) and Suryakumar Yadav (11) were at the crease when victory was achieved, which took KKR to the top of the points table.
Earlier, Shaun Marsh top-scored for the hosts with an unbeaten 56 off 41 balls. The Australian struck five boundaries and a six during his stay in the middle in a rather mediocre outing by the Kings XI Punjab batting line-up.
For KKR, Sunil Narine finished with impressive figures of 2/22, while Morne Morkel had 2/27 from their quota of four overs each.
The total could have been much less had it not been for the 18 runs Marsh and Kyle Abbott (12 not off six balls) plundered in the innings’s last over bowled by Andre Russell.
After put into bat by the KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir, Kings XI Punjab struggled to get going, losing Manan Vohra (8) with just 21 runs on the board in the fourth over.
And then, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals with Shaun Marsh stranded at the other end.