Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir were among the runs again as Kolkata beat Punjab by 6 wickets to register their 3rd win of the tournament. Earlier on in the evening, KXIP scored 138 runs on the back of a valiant 56 from Marsh, as the KKR spinners stifled the Punjab batting at Mohali.
Uthappa at the other
But Pardeep Sahu had clearly not read the script on the night. A deftly pitched googly caught Gambhir off-guard and Maxwell grabbed a beautiful running catch to send back the captain. Just when Punjab hopes had started to reignite again, Pandey and Shakib played sensibly to avoid any collapse. But with runs not coming freely anymore, Manish Pandey lost his focus and got castled by Axar Patel. However, Suryakumar Yadav came in and saw the team home with Yusuf Pathan, after Shakib fell to
Earlier in the evening, with 11 of the 12 chasing teams registering wins in this year’s IPL so far, Gautam Gambhir had the simplest of decisions to make after winning the toss. The Knight Riders chose to field with an unchanged eleven. David Miller in the Punjab camp also decided to stick to the same side that beat the Pune Supergiants on Sunday.
From the word go, Murali Vijay looked in good nick for the home side.
Despite Vijay’s sporadic boundaries, the scoring rate remained below a run-a-ball. Manan Vohra, who had walked out to open the innings with Vijay looked impatient with the slow run rate, and Morne Morkel got the reward. The tall South-African bowled an angling length ball and Vohra, looking to clear the infield with a flick, could only to find Shakib at deep-midwicket.
Shaun Marsh came in and hit a cracking cover-drive off the first delivery he faced. There were some more positive signs as Vijay sent Morkel and Shakib to the fence and the run-rate
Punjab decided to shuffle their batting order and sent in Saha at no. 4, but the move failed when the keeper-batsman nicked one back to Uthappa, and Narine got his second wicket of the evening. With 3 down for just 62 runs at the end of 11 overs, Marsh and Miller chose to target Chawla. The pair milked 10 runs off Chawla’s third over, playing smart cricketing shots.
Gambhir reacted by bringing on his fourth spinner of the night in Yusuf Pathan, and it paid immediate dividends. David Miller, who has had a forgettable tournament so far, continued his poor form as he departed on Pathan’s first ball of the game. KXIP stuttered at 72/4 as Marsh looked on from the non-striker’s end.
Taking charge of the situation Marsh started to spray the ball to the boundary rope as he upped the run-rate. But the fightback didn’t last long with Marsh losing another partner in Glen Maxwell. Maxwell looked desperate to play the reverse sweep or the switch hit ever since he came to the crease. And he got out playing the latter. Maxwell couldn’t clear the infield as his bullet of a shot found Piyush Chawla, who made no mistake at cover.
Marsh continued to swim against the tide and ended up with 56 runs with help from Abbott, who finished the innings on a high.