Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) returned back to winning ways with a bang as they thumped the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by six wickets at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. In the second game of the day, Hashim Amla’s second century of the season went in vain as Gujarat Lions trounced the Kings XI Punjab by six wickets at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.
Opting to bowl first, Gautam Gambhir and his men got off to a brilliant start Umesh Yadav dismissed opener Chris Gayle on the first ball of the match. That set the tone for the upcoming batters as stalwarts Virat Kohli (5) and AB De Villiers (10) could not do much to add to the score. But quality knocks by Australian southpaw Travis Head (75*) and youngster Mandeep Singh (52) ensured that at least a respectable total in the form of 158 runs was put on the board.
In reply, Chris Lynn (50) who returned from an injury joined forces with Sunil Narine and tore apart the bowling right from the word go. As a matter of fact, the duo made a mockery of the total as they plundered 105 runs in the powerplay, the highest ever by a team in the IPL. Sunil Narine (54) too got his name etched in the record books as he blasted his first and the fastest fifty in the IPL, of just 15 balls, equalling teammate Yusuf Pathan’s feat.
Although Pawan Negi (2/21) along with Aniket Choudhary (1/19) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/ 39) staged a small fight back, the game was already over by then as the Kolkata Knight Riders romped to a six wicket victory with 29 balls to spare. This dominating win sees them go back to the second place in league table and also sends a strong message to all the other teams ahead of the playoffs. This is the sixth consecutive loss for Virat Kohli and team and this loss sums up, what has been an absolute nightmare of a season for them.
In the second match of the day, Gujarat Lions riding on the back of some quality hitting by Dwayne Smith (79) and responsible knocks by Suresh Raina (39), Dinesh Karthik (35*) and youngster Ishan Kishan (29) helped secure a win after the home team courtesy brilliant knocks by Hashim Amla (104) and Shaun Marsh (58) aided by skipper Glenn Maxwell’s 20 runs of 11 balls helped Punjab put on 189 runs on the board.
But the Punjab bowlers and fielders disappointed big time as runs were freely available and even excellent fielders like David Miller dropped easy catches. In the end, it was an easy chase for the Gujarat Lions who are now at the sixth position in the table. Kings XI are however at the fifth place but their journey to the playoffs gets really difficult from here on.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 158/6 (Travis Head 75*, Mandeep Singh 52; Umesh Yadav 3/36) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 159/4 in 15.1 overs (Sunil Narine 54, Chris Lynn 50; Pawan Negi 2/21) by six wickets.
Kings XI Punjab 189/3 (Hashim Amla 104, Shaun Marsh 58; Dhawal Kulkarni 1/24) lost to Gujarat Lions 192/4 in 19.4 overs (Dwayne Smith 79, Suresh Raina 39; Sandeep Sharma 2/29) by six wickets.