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IPL PICS: Rahul leads the way as Kings slay Knights

Last updated on: October 02, 2021 00:21 IST
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Images from the Indian Premier League match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings, in Dubai, on Friday.

Opener K L Rahul waves to the Punjab Kings dressing room after completing a half century.

IMAGE: Opener K L Rahul waves to the Punjab Kings dressing room after completing a half century during the Indian Premier League match against Kolkata Knight Riders, in Dubai, on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Punjab Kings enhanced their chances of making the play-offs of the Indian Premier League with a stunning five-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, in Dubai, on Friday.

Judicious batting by skipper K L Rahul and miserly bowling in the death overs was the key in only their fifth victory in 12 outings, which took them to the fifth rung in the eight-team league.

 

The Knight Riders, who are in fourth place, also have 10 points from the same number of matches.

Shahrukh Khan also played a crucial hand in the victory, scoring 22 of 9 balls when it mattered most, finishing the match with a six.

Punjab Kings opener Mayank Agarwal  hit three fours and as many sixes before being dismissed for 40 off 27 balls.

IMAGE: Punjab Kings opener Mayank Agarwal hit three fours and as many sixes before being dismissed for 40 off 27 balls. Photograph: BCCI

Rahul led from the front with a masterful 67 off 55 balls, sharing a 70-run stand with fellow-opener Mayank Agarwal (40), as Punjab King overhauled the 166-run target with three balls to spare.

Earlier, Venkatesh Iyer scored a fluent 67 and Nitish Rana 31 off 18 balls as the Knight Riders put up 165 for 7.

Shivam Mavi takes the catch to dismiss Nicholas Pooran off the bowling of Varun Chakravarthy.

IMAGE: Shivam Mavi takes the catch to dismiss Nicholas Pooran off the bowling of Varun Chakravarthy. Photograph: BCCI

Put in to bat, the in-form KKR batsmen controlled the proceedings for a major part of their innings, but were checked in their stride by excellent death over spells by Mohammed Shami (1 for 23) and Arshdeep Singh (3 for 32).

In reply, openers Rahul and Agarwal got Punjab off to a steady start, scoring 46 runs in the powerplay.

Varun Chakaravarthy is congratulated by skipper Eoin Morgan after taking the wicket of Mayank Agarwal.

IMAGE: Varun Chakaravarthy is congratulated by skipper Eoin Morgan after taking the wicket of Mayank Agarwal. Photograph: BCCI

Initially, Agarwal was the aggressor while Rahul went at a-run-a-ball.

Varun Chakravarthy separated them by having Agarwal caught at extra cover by Eoin Morgan.

Nicholas Pooran (12) was dropped on 1 by Tripathi in the same region but Chakravarthy ensured that it wasn't a costly miss as he dismissed the West Indian soon after. 

Gripping the ball was difficult for the bowlers due to the dew factor but Punjab’s batsmen were happy working the ball around and getting an odd big shot in between.

Rahul Tripathi takes the catch to dismiss Deepak Hooda.

IMAGE: Rahul Tripathi takes the catch to dismiss Deepak Hooda. Photograph: BCCI

Rahul raised his half-century with one such shot off a slower delivery from Tim Southee, clearing the square leg region.

Punjab needed 45 runs from the last five overs. Aiden Markram (18) hit a gigantic six off Sunil Narine but was caught in the same over and Deepak Hooda (3) also perished soon.

Rahul then seemed to have hit one straight to fielder but the third-umpire ruled him not out.

He was out though to the first ball of the final over but Shahrukh did well to complete the job.

Venkatesh Iyer

IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders opener Venkatesh Iyer hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, Venkatesh Iyer hit a fluent 67 and Nitish Rana a fiery 31 off 18 balls before Punjab Kings pulled things back to restrict Kolkata Knight Riders to 165 for 7.

Put in to bat, the in-form Knight riders dictated the proceedings for a major part of their innings, as Iyer blazed away from the start, and looked set for a huge total, before excellent death overs’ bowling by Mohammed Shami (1 for 23) and Arshdeep Singh (3 for 32) checked the flow of runs.

Kolkata Knight Riders opener Shubman Gill is bowled by Punjab Kings pacer Arshdeep Singh.

IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders opener Shubman Gill is bowled by Punjab Kings pacer Arshdeep Singh. Photograph: BCCI

Iyer and Tripathi (34 off 26 balls) raised a 72-run stand, stroking the ball around easily while Rana produced a nice cameo after their exit.

Left-arm pacer Arshdeep has been a top performer for the Punjab side this season and he delivered again by cleaning up Shubhman Gill (7) with a peach of delivery that breached the defence of the batsman in the third over.

Deepak Hooda catches Rahul Tripathi off the bowling of Ravi Bishnoi.

IMAGE: Deepak Hooda catches Rahul Tripathi off the bowling of Ravi Bishnoi. Photograph: BCCI

Iyer, who has been a revelation this season, continued his good run with some fluent drives on both sides of the wicket despite the ball stopping a bit before coming on to the bat.

The batsmen's positive approach and lack of control over the line by the Punjab pacers meant that Kolkata’s run-rate kept soaring.

Venkatesh Iyer walks back after a splendid 67 off 49 balls, as Ravi Bishnoi celebrates his dismissal.

IMAGE: Venkatesh Iyer walks back after a splendid 67 off 49 balls, as Ravi Bishnoi celebrates his dismissal. Photograph: BCCI

The partnership was finally broken by spinner Ravi Bishnoi, who had Tripathi caught in the deep.

The leg-spinner was also economical, with figures of 2 for 22 in four overs.

Mohammad Shami celebrates after trapping Eoin Morgan leg before wicket.

IMAGE: Mohammad Shami celebrates after trapping Eoin Morgan leg before wicket. Photograph: BCCI

Iyer completed his fifty with a single off Fabian Allen and then lofted the West Indian bowler for a six to raise team's hundred in the 13th over.

Two quick wickets fell as Bishnoi got rid of Iyer, who went for a big shot, and Shami trapped Eoin Morgan (2), the rival skipper shuffling a bit towards the off side and missing the line of a dipping delivery and trapping him leg before wicket.

The Punjab Kings bowlers did well in the last two overs, allowing KKR 14 runs.

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