Kolkata Knight Riders weathered the Glenn Maxwell storm to grab a 7-run win over Kings XI Punjab at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday. Earlier, a 101-run stand between Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir, where they failed to accelerate despite having wickets in hand, saw KKR post a modest total of 164.
Marcus Stoinis and Murali Vijay gave Punjab a solid start against Gujarat in their last, which formed the foundation of their win. However, tonight Punjab got off to their worst start in the tournament so far. By 3.1 overs, they were already tottering at 13/3, and all the three dismissals came through disappointing shot
After surviving Morkel's initial attempt to bounce him out, Maxwell stabilized the Punjab innings to some extent with a 40-run partnership with Wriddhiman Saha, before the wicket-keeper fell to Piyush Chawla.
Then Maxwell, who showed signs of returning to form against Mumbai Indians, started to counter-attack the KKR spinners. The Australian went after Piyush Chawla and Brad
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Few lusty blows from Axar Patel took Punjab closer to the target, and they needed 12 runs in the final over to win the game. However, Andre Russell bowled a stunning over under pressure and picked up two wickets, to snatch a 7-run win for his team. The West Indian finished the match with an impressive figure of 4/20.
Earlier, Punjab started with just three foreign players in their lineup – the last IPL team to do so were Mumbai Indians back in 2012. They made two changes to their team for this game – Swapnil Singh and Manan Vohra replaced KC Cariappa and Shaun Marsh. Gautam Gambhir also made a couple of changes to his team with Shakib Al Hasan and Brad Hogg replacing Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine.
Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab have had contrasting starts to their IPL campaign. Gautam Gambhir has guided his team to five
Punjab won the toss and decided to bowl first, and it was not a surprise considering KKR's record while chasing this season. The Kolkata-based franchise
Another standout statistic for Kolkata this season has been provided by their opening pair. Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have managed four 50+ partnerships in their opening eight matches, and they came up with the fifth at Eden Gardens tonight.
The duo was circumspect at the start of the innings. Gambhir and Uthappa were enjoying the new ball when the pacers were using it, but as soon as the spinners came into action, the run rate dropped a lot. They managed just 21 runs
Gambhir brought up his half-century in the 13th over, but it arrived in 42 balls. The 101-run opening partnership was eventually broken via the run-out of Gambhir, and three overs later Uthappa faced the same fate.
Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell were left with the responsibility of dragging their team out of mediocrity in the final few overs, and they made a valiant attempt at doing so. However, Sandeep Sharma produced a stunning spell at the
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