A clinical all round display from the Kolkata Knight Riders saw them start their home campaign with an easy win over Kings XI Punjab. Umesh Yadav (4/33) was back among the wickets upon his comeback to the side as Gautam Gambhir (72*) sealed a commanding 8 wicket victory for the Knight Riders.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Gautam Gambhir - (9/10)
Captain fantastic was there once again at the end to guide Kolkata home with his unbeaten 72 off 49 balls. Gambhir ensured that Punjab didn’t have even the slightest of chances to win the game scoring his 33rd IPL fifty. He even poached the catches of Hashim Amla and Varun Aaron to round off a good day at the office.
Robin Uthappa- (7/10)
The wicketkeeper-batsman was once again at his aggressive best as he came out all guns blazing at the fall of the first wicket. His quick-fire 26 off 16, which included 3 fours and 1 six, ensured that the run rate never dropped for the home side.
Pandey was Kolkata’s best player in the last match against the Mumbai Indians on Sunday and he continued his rich vein of form scoring 25* off 16 balls to see Kolkata home. He also showed his abilities in the field by latching onto a catch to dismiss the dangerous David Miller at a time when KKR were dropping catches right left and centre.
The Baroda bomber has been in snooze mode in IPL 2017, so far and once again, his services weren’t required with either bat or ball.
Suryakumar Yadav- (6/10)
Yadav was another one who had a quite game tonight but he did do his bit by holding onto Mohit Sharma’s catch to send the Punjab pacer back to the pavilion.
Sunil Narine- (8/10)
After his best bowling performance this season, (1/19), Narine shocked the vast majority of the Eden Gardens’ crowd when he opened the batting with Gautam Gambhir and went after the bowling from the onset. He did his job by giving Kolkata the perfect start smashing 37 off 18 balls, before being caught by Axar Patel off the bowling of Varun Aaron in the 6th over.
Colin de Grandhomme- (7/10)
Making his IPL debut, the Kiwi gave a good account of his abilities as he bowled 2 overs for 15 runs and also picked up the all-important wicket of Hashim Amla. He also may have just done enough to stake a claim for a starting spot in the Kolkata Knight Riders lineup from here on.
The English all-rounder wasn’t required to bat but did well with the ball during the Punjab innings as he scalped the wickets of Mohit Sharma and Varun Aaron, while also holding onto Wriddhiman Saha’s catch off the bowling of Umesh Yadav.
Piyush Chawla- (6/10)
Though Chawla may have gone for 12 runs an over in his three overs, he did manage to get the important first wicket of Manan Vohra in the 6th over, which help the Knight Riders pull things back after Kings XI Punjab’s flying start.
Trent Boult- (5/10)
The New Zealander had an off day today as Hashim Amla and Manan Vohra fancied their chances against him at the beginning of the Punjab innings which meant that he finished with expensive figures of 0/36 in his four overs.
Umesh Yadav - (8/10)
It’s almost as if he’d never been away! Yadav continued from where he left off against Australia as he announced his arrival in the IPL with a typical spell of fast bowling. He rocked the Punjab batting lineup with three wickets in one over, before finishing with figures of 4/33 in his allotted four. Now, that’s how you make a comeback!
Kings XI Punjab
Hashim Amla - (7/10)
For the third game running, the South African got off to a good start but yet again was unable to build on it. He played the supporting role with both Vohra and Maxwell, but when it came to upping the run rate, the 34-year-old disappointed yet again.
Manan Vohra - (7/10)
Like his opening partner, Vohra has been able to see off the new ball scoring 14, 34, and 28 respectively in his three games so far. But, yet again, failed to see it through as he suffered a rush of blood to the head and tried to attack Chawla in his very first over.
Glenn Maxwell - (7/10)
The Punjab captain came out swinging after Vohra’s dismissal and was hitting the ball as cleanly as we have seen in the tournament so far. But he wasn’t able to recreate his heroics from the first two games as he nicked a Umesh Yadav delivery to the keeper. Credit to him for actually walking off before the umpire gave his decision.
David Miller - (6/10)
It was only the second time that Miller came out to bat this season - the first was a supporting role in the first game. This time, however, he took the attack to the KKR bowlers and appeared to be headed for a 2014-esque finish scoring 28 off 19 balls but a mistimed shot cut his innings short.
Wriddhiman Saha - (6/10)
His partnership with Miller looked troublesome for KKR as the visitors looked well set to cross the 200-run mark. It was just unfortunate for Punjab’s sake that Saha lost his wicket on the very next ball after Miller had been dismissed. Had he stayed there, the target could have been a competitive
Axar Patel - (4/10)
It just wasn’t Patel’s day! Not only did he concede at 9 runs per over, he was the only player who was unlucky enough to be caught by the ever-unreliable Sunil Narine.
Marcus Stoinis - (4/10)
Promoted up the order in place of Axar Patel, the all-rounder looked out of place as he had the lowest strike-rate among both teams on a surface made for batsmen. It was a surprise that he wasn’t given another over after conceding just 8 in his first one.
Mohit Sharma - (3/10)
A day to forget for the Punjab pacer who was completely ineffective with the ball conceding 30 runs in three overs. A part of the four-man pace attack, he was just not able to get the breakthrough that his team was desperate for.
Ishant Sharma - (6/10)
Playing his first game of the season, the Indian pacer was not as bad as the rest. In fact, he had the best economy in the Punjab team but when you are seen as one of the strike bowlers of your team, keeping the economy down is not what gets you a Rs. 2 crore contract.
Sandeep Sharma - (6/10)
The 23-year-old has been in inspired form in the IPL so far, providing his team with early breakthroughs in every game. However, today, on a pitch that had some help for pacers, Sandeep failed to deliver. Still early days though, based on his performances in the first two games, he might be an important cog in the Punjab wheel.
Varun Aaron - (5/10)
In an attempt to