KKR thump Kings XI by six wickets; join Gujarat Lions at the top of points table

A 82-run partnership between Uthappa and Gambhir seals it for the visitors

Kolkata Knight Riders beat hosts Kings XI Punjab by six wickets on Tuesday, to make it to the top of the points table. They now share the top spot with Gujarat Lions.

Commentary:

Yadav thumps one past the bowler and finishes it for KKR, to complete a clinical performance.

Pathan looks to be in a hurry to finish the innings. Two fours and the runs needed is reduced to a single digit. Big over this, 13 runs off it.

24 balls, 15 runs. KKR cruising along comfortably at 124/4 after 16 overs

Axar to continue, to bowl his third over. Bad day getting worse for Kings XI – Vohra runs in from long-off and spills a catch, and the ball rolls down to the boundary. Shakib not making the most of the chance he;s been given, lobs a catch to Sandeep who pouches it at point. He was looking to wrap up the innings quickly but persihes in the process.

Mohit’s here. Expect a lot of slower ones, this over. After three dot balls, Kumar goes for the ramp shot and manages to make good enough contact to guide it over the ‘keeper. Five came off that over. KKR 117/3 after 15 overs

A lapse of concentration there – Pandey misses a straight one from Axar and plays down the wrong line. He’ll be livid with himself after that – retunrs to the pavilion after scoring 12 off 11 balls. Vice-captain Surykumar Yadav is the next man in. Only two off it. Well bowled, Axar!

End of Over no. 13, KKR 110/2

Sahu’s been the only bowler who’s looked like taking a wicket. He’s going to bowl his last. This has been one of the better displays of bowling this season – Pradeep Sahu has managed to hold his own and has finished a tidy spell. Four overs, 18 runs and two wickets.

KKR 107/2 aftre 12 overs

Mohit Sharma’s back. That’s a pure timing from Pandey, middles a rising ball through the covers. Shakib replaces Gambhir at the crease. Three singles, apart from the boundary. Thirty-two required from 48 balls.

Sahu strikes again. KKR 98/2 after 11 overs

Sahu’s produced another wicket here. But that belonged to Maxwell, who ran in a godd 20 yards to take a diving catch- catches it just inches off the ground. Gambhir’s gone for 34.

KKR 93/1 after 10 overs

His Karnataka team mate Manish Pandey is the next batsman. Maxwell’s followed that 3-run over withanother tight one. 10 runs. Gambhir makes room, uses the crease and plays it late through the vacant point region – terrific placement that from the Delhi batsman.

After 9 overs, KKR 83/1

Finally, a wicket. Sahu traps Uthappa (53 off 28 balls) lbw. The Karnataka batsman tries to sweep a ball that’s in line with the stumps and misses it, much to the delight of Kings XI players. Only three came off that. They need to pick wickets in a bunch here, to have any sniff of a chance to get back into the match.

Miller is shuffling though his bowlers, desperate for a wicket. KKR 80/0 after 8 (RR 10.0)

The two are rotating the strike and managing to get a boundary off almost every over. Eight came off this with very little risks taken. It’s becoming all too easy for the two in the middle.

KKR 72/0 after seven

Leggie Sahu’s been introduced. Uthappa hits the third fastest fifty of the season – this has come off 24 balls. Three singles came also off it – that makes it seven off it. KKR comfortably placed at this stage.

74 needed from 14 overs, KKR will look to wrap this up quickly.

Can Axar provide a breakthrough? Looks unlikely, going by the first ball which is dispatched to a boundary. Four singles and a double – this is terrific batting from Uthappa and Gambhir. 10 runs came off it.

KKR 55/0 after five overs

Mohit’s into the attack. He’ll look to remove the pace off the ball. It’s been all too easy for the batsmen so far. Two boundaries off consecutive deliveries and the KKR juggernaut continues. Only 84 needed from 15 overs.

The march continues, KKR 44/0 after 4 overs

And, the runs keep coming. Eleven off this. Both stamping their authority on the field – a drive through the covers and a pull through midwicket. Abott’s two overs have yielded 19.

KKR 33/0 after three overs

The amount of swing has reduced, ball moving in straight lines for Sandeep. Uthappa’s liking the pace at which Sandeep is bowling, steps down the wicket and smashes one over a leaping David Miller at mid-on. He’s picking the gaps at will, charges the next ball and gets two. And, four off the last ball. Big over that, 13 came off it.

After two overs, KKR 20/0

Abbott will share the new ball with Sandeep. Another healthy over for KKR – they’ve managed to score eight off it. Uthappa crunches the last ball through the covers and the spoils the over for Abbott.

What a start to the innings. Four off the first ball, followed by a four leg bye and four singles. KKR set the tempo for the chase. Twelve off the first over.

Kings XI Punjab manage to score 138/8 in their allotted 20 overs, thanks to a half-century from Shaun Marsh.

Andre Russel’s been given the responsibility of bowling the last over. A fifty for Marsh – he’s been fighting it out alone for the hosts – gets to his half-century with a smash over long-on. The ball just about beats the outstretched hands of the long-on fielder. Another shot worth half-a-dozen – but this is from Abbott. And, three off the last ball. Kings XI finish with 138 – a below-par total, one reckons.

Yadav to bowl his third. Can Kings XI get past 130? Seem a little difficult. Sahu’s run out – another one falls with Marsh at the non-striker’s end. Only five off the penultimate over of the innings. Six balls to go

Morkel to bowl his last over. Marsh is fighting it out, there – manages to pull it between deep midwicket and square leg. That went to the boundary with some pace. Wickets continue to tumble – Mohit Sharma is the latest victim. Kings XI 115/7 after 18

Umesh Yadav has three more overs. Axar Patel, tries to hit one out of the park, but only manages to lob it straight to the mid-off fielder. A terrific over from Umesh, only 6 off it. Three more overs, Kings XI 108/6

Kings XI: 102/5 (RR: 6.37) after 16

Axar Patel’s the next man in. Shakib finishes his quota of four overs with his figures reading: 4-0-28-0. Seven came off his last. RR is just a shade above 6.

Kings XI 95/5 after 15 overs

Narine picks his second, and an important one – that of Maxwell, who tries to reverse sweep but hits it in front of the wicket to the cover fielder. Chawla pouches that one nonchalently. Maxwell’s gone for 4.

Something’s about to happen here – Maxwell, Marsh, six overs to go. Game on!

Shakib continues. Marsh smashes it down the ground for a boundary – a much needed one, that. Kings XI manage only seven in that over. Shakib finishes his third over.

Yusuf Pathan strikes in his first ball. Commentators curse, that. Miller’s (6 runs off 6 balls) short innings comes to an end as he tries to cut and gives a second catch to Uthappa. Maxwell’s the next man.After 13, Kings XI 77/4

Kings XI: 72/3 (RR: 6.00) after 12 overs

Chawla continues. Four off the first, Miller tries to sweep it, gets an under edge and that runs away for a boundary. Kings XI’s fortunes depend on Miller here, he cut the last ball for another boundary. Eight more overs to go, plenty of time, by T20 standards,. Can Miller push it past 130?

120-130 on the cards? Miller walks in, Kings XI – 62/3

Narine ends Saha’s (8 off 14 balls) struggle, throws in a wide one and Saha tries to cut that but only manages to get an edge – a sharp catch by Uthappa. Captain Killer Miller walks in. Kings XI’s problems deepen. Six came off that over.

Saha’s finding it hard to negotiate Chawla’s turners, who’s slipped in another quick over. Only four coming in that. Kings XI struggling at 56/2 at the halfway mark.

After 9 overs, Kings XI 52/2

Four runs — coming in two singles and a double — in Narine’s second. Kings XI need to press on the accelerator, push the RR up soon. It’s hovering around 5.7 at the moment. A strategic timeout here.

Vijay fails to convert the start, Kings XI 48/2 after eight

Leggie Piyush Chawla is here. He’s made a difference already. A couple of dot balls and slips in a googly to Vijay (26 off 22 balls), who tries to cut that one, but realises that it’s too close to him. It’s too late by then, the stumps light up, giving Chawla his first wicket.

After 7 overs, Kings XI 44/1

Sunil Narine 2.0 is here. And, there’s a stumping chance – but looks like he’s safe here. A quiet over, that only 3 coming off it.

Kings XI Punjab 41/1 (RR: 6.83)

VIjay pulls it in front of midwicket, his favourite shot that – stands tall and dispatches it. Vijay;s managed to keep the scoreboard ticking with boundaries every over. He’s quickly on to 24 from 17 balls.

After five overs, Kings XI 35/1

Vijay continues to find the boundary, rocks back and cut a short one from the Bangladeshi allrounder for a boundary. A couple and two single also scored off that over. Vijay’s looking in terrific touch here.

Kings XI: 26/1 after four

It was waiting to happen. With RR hovering just below 6, Vohra (8 off 12 balls )tries to flick one from the off-stump and manages to find the only man patrolling the boundary. Shakib manages to hold on it, with some difficulty – first wicket’s gone. Shaun Marsh means business, drives the first ball through covers – a boundary. Two wonderful strokemakers at the crease now.

A cautious start, here for the Kings XI. After three overs, 17/0

Shakib into the attack now. A couple of dot balls and Vijay, as usual, breaks the shackles with a drive through the covers. Six came off that over.

After two overs, KXI – 11/2

Umesh to share the new ball. Both Yadav and Morkel are bowling at speeds in excess of 140 kmph. A couple of leading edges in that over, both batsmen are finding it difficul to middle the swinging deliveries.

VIjay begins with a boundary, KXI – 5/0 after the first over

Morne Morkel will open the bowling for Kings XI – expect some swing for the big man. He’s hit the splice of the bat on all occassions – is getting step bounce. Vijay’s had enough of it, stands tall and dispatches the fourth ball, that’s over 143 kmph, over mid-on! Classy. that one. Five off the first over.

The two Ms — Murali Vijay and Mannan Vohra — make their way to the centre.

Ian Bishop’s ready with the toss. Gautam Gambhir wins the toss and KKR will bowl first on a pitch that is got an even covering of grass. Both teams field an unchanged XI.

Stat time: 92% of the matches have been won by the team batting second!

Our match preview: It will be a clash of big bats and bigger reputations when two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders takes on an upbeat host Kings XI Punjab.

Having notched up its first win of the season against Rising Pune Supergiants, KXIP will be hoping to come good once again in front of home fans. However, the conditions will be vastly different with the match being played in the evening while the previous game was a day match in 40 degrees heat.