Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Kings XI Punjab by 28 runs to make it to the finals of the seventh season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). They will face the winner of Chennai-Mumbai match.
It was a very professional performance by Kolkata Knight Riders, who outplayed the Kings XI Punjab in the first qualifying match played at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Playing in front of their home crowd the KKR came out victorious to reach another final of the IPL.
Kolkata scored 163 runs in their allotted 20 overs for the loss of eight overs. In reply, Punjab scored 135 runs also losing eight wickets in the process.
Punjab won the toss and chose to bowl first. The skies were threatening to open up once again like yesterday and that’s why Punjab would have opted to bowl first to avoid bowling later when the ball gets wet. However, that didn’t go well with the team as Kolkata got the better of them.
Robin Uthappa scored yet another 40+ innings this season to set the stage for the later hitting. However, Gambhir was sent back for just one run by Johnson in the second over.
But that did not deter Manish Pandey from playing his shots when he came to the crease.
The two put on 65 runs for the second wicket. The big hitting Yusuf Pathan scored 20 runs in 18 balls with two fours and a six. Suryakumar Yadav also added a handy score of 20 runs in 14 balls.
Karanveer Singh was the pick of the bowlers for Punjab with three wickets. However, he was costly with 40 runs off four overs.
The start for Punjab was also not too pleasing as they lost Sehwag for only two runs. But Vohra and Saha not only kept scoring runs, but also kept the team ahead of the D/L required runs as the threat of rains always loomed large.
The covers had, in fact, to be called during the powerplay but the rains didn’t threaten for long and weren’t required. Umesh Yadav proved to be the difference between a win and a loss for Punjab as he ran through the batting line up taking three crucial wickets.
His wickets included first Sehwag, followed by Maxwell and Bailey. Not only that, Yadav was also crucial in dismissing two other batsmen – Vohra and Saha, when he took catches offered by them.
This now puts the KKR in the finals that will be played on June 1. Meanwhile, Punbaj will get another shot at the finals when they will play the winner of the match between Chennai and Mumbai. The losing side will be eliminated immediately.
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