Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by the narrowest of margins in Abu Dhabi to win their fourth game of IPL 2020. In the process, KKR moved upto the third position in the points table, while Punjab succumbed to their sixth loss in seven games. Punjab went down from 115 for 1 to 162 for 5 to lose the game by two runs to give Kolkata an unlikely win from the position that they were in for the most of the game. More about the KKR vs KXIP match report in detail below.
KKR won the toss and opted to bat first. they had a poor start to their innings as they lost Rahul Tripathi (4) and Nitish Rana (2) inside the powerplay. While Tripathi was dismissed by Mohammed Shami, Rana was run-out after a miscommunication with Shubhman Gill, who scored 57 off 44 balls.
Dinesh Karthik Scored His First Fifty For Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020
Eoin Morgan (24) added a 49-run stand with Gill, however, KKR’s innings was given a real move on by their skipper Dinesh Karthik. The Kolkata Knight Riders captain finally found some form as he scored a 22-ball fifty. He scored 58 off 29 balls ultimately to help KR finish on 164/6 after their 20 overs.
KXIP looked in complete control in their run chase with KL Rahul (74 off 58) and Mayank Agarwal (56 off 39) added a 115-run stand for the first wicket. The partnership was broken by Prasdh Krishna playing his first game for KKR this season.
He first dismissed Agarwal and then dismissed Prabhsimran Singh (4 off 7), who was sent ahead of Glenn Maxwell (10 off 5). The move to send the wicket-keeper batsmen to send ahead of Maxwell was a decision tough to understand from the KXIP camp. Nicholas Pooran, who nearly won the game for Punjab in their previous game got out at the wrong time when he and KL Rahul were expected to do the job for Punjab.
KXIP Lose The Plot in Their Chase
KL Rahul’s strike rate of 127.59 throughout the game became another talking point in the game. He was guilty of not scoring with a better strike rate in their previous game against Sunrisers Hyderabad. In the post-match presentation, Rahul said that strike-rates are overrated and that winning the game for the team is all that matters. However, Rahul despite scoring 74 failed to take his tea over the line.
Meanwhile, there were some impressive captaincy decisions from Karthik. He held back Sunil Narine again, which paid rich dividends in the second half of the game. he was introduced in the eight over of Punjab’s chase.
He dismissed Pooran in the 18th over after he was set and looked good to take his team home. That resulted in the wicket of Rahul in the 19th over who was guilty of scoring at a low strike-rate again.
With 12 needed from the final over for Punjab, Karthik again gave the ball to Narine and he didn’t disappoint. Maxwell hit him for a four in the third delivery of his over to bring the balance of the game in their favour. However, the KKR mystery spinner kept his cool to win the game for his team.
What was the Turning Point in the game?
Prasidh Krishna breaking KXIP’s opening stand of 115 became the turning point of the game at last with KKR bowlers getting a firm grip on the game. The Kolkata Knight Riders spinners Varun Chakravarty and Sunil Narine then bowled some good overs to narrowly win the game for Kolkata.
KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik was adjudged the Man of the Match after he scored a quickfire fifty that fuelled KKR’s total past 160. This was his first fifty after five failures for his side.
“McCullum is encouraging me to bat higher, though I always feel I bat better somewhere in the middle. We have had these conversations, but at the end I give him the credit for keeping me in a place where I can contribute to the team’s success” said Karthik after his match-winning innings.