» Cricket » IPL: Holders Kolkata edge past Punjab, move to top of the table

IPL: Holders Kolkata edge past Punjab, move to top of the table

May 09, 2015 20:27 IST
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Piyush Chawla and Umesh Yadav of the Kolkata Knight Riders celebrate during their Indian Premier League match against Kings XI Punjab. Photograph: BCCI

Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by one wicket in the Indian Premier League match at Eden Gardens.

- Scorecard

The result lifted the defending champions to the top of the table, with 15 points from 12 games.

Kolkata also ended their home leg on a high, winning three matches on the trot.

For Punjab, lying at the foot of the table, it was their ninth loss in 11 matches.

Manan Vohra and Murali Vijay of Kings XI Punjab. Photograph: BCCI

Electing to bat, Kings XI Punjab posted 183 for five. 

Murali Vijay (28) and Manan Vohra (39) opened the batting for Punjab and did well, adding 45 for the opening wicket.  

Vohra, whose 34-ball innings included a boundary and three sixes, also added 33 for the second wicket with Wridhimaan Saha (33).

Glenn Maxwell of Kings XI Punjab in action during their Indian Premier League match against Kolkata Knight Riders. Photograph: BCCI

Glenn Maxwell came back to form with 22-ball 43. The Australian welcomed compatriot Brad Hogg with a couple of boundaries and a huge six over deep midwicket. Another single helps raise the 50-run partnership for the third wicket.

However, Sunil Narine struck in his third over, having Maxwell caught by Johan Botha at deep midwicket.

Maxwell's 22-ball innings was inclusive of four boundaries and three sixes and he helped Saha (33) add 65 runs for the third wicket.

Glenn Maxwell of Kings XI Punjab celebrates the wicket of Manish Pandey of the Kolkata. Photograph: BCCI

Gautam Gambhir (24) and Robin Uthappa (17) helped Kolkata to a brisk start in the power play, reaching 57 for one in the first six overs but introduction of spin put on the brakes. 

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel gave away just two runs from his first over, while offie Gurkeerat was tidier with just one run to tighten the proceedings.

As a result Manish Pandey (22) tried to break free in the next over but only to mistime Maxwell and was caught by Patel. Gurkeerat gave the big breakthrough in Gambhir the next over to derail Kolkata's run chase. 

Kolkata were gasping at 83 for four at one stage and the required runrate had shot past 12 with 98 runs required from last eight overs.

Andre Russell of the Kolkata Knight Riders celebrates his fifty. Photograph: BCCI

From there Andre Russell (51) and Yusuf Pathan (29) put on 53 runs from 25 balls for the fifth wicket to turn the match around.

Russell slammed five fours and four sixes in his 21-ball 51 as he equalled Harbhajan Singh's fastest fifty (from 19 balls) this season. Pathan provided perfect support from the other end to the Jamaican who unleashed his fury in front of a packed home support to take them near. 

There was never a clear winner as wickets kept falling but Kolkata kept nearing the target and eventually eight runs were required from the last over.

Kolkata lost two wickets in three balls including that of Piyush Chawla (18), who struck a vital six off Anureet Singh to take defending champions closer, leaving Narine at the crease to score one run from two balls. The left-hander managed to hold his nerve.

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