Hand KXIP a dramatic win; Narine’s hat-trick goes in vain
After Sunil Narine’s hat-trick and a robust 105-run stand between Gautam Gambhir and Eoin Morgan, it was a match for Kolkata Knight Riders to lose. And it did.
One can easily credit the ‘never-say-die’ spirit of Kings XI Punjab for the result. But on this day, it was a more a case of KKR losing the match than the host winning it.
Consider this. Chasing 158 to win, KKR reached 106 for two in 13 overs with left-handers Gambhir and Morgan on fire. But dramatically, the untimely aggression of KXIP that has proved its bane often in the past, seemed to have rubbed off on KKR when in sight of victory.
What followed was a sensational collapse with KKR losing seven wickets for 47 runs to leave KXIP winner by four runs!
Gambhir, still managing to smile during the post-match presentation ceremony, admitted that he had thought his team would cross the line with some overs to spare. He quickly chose to say the format was a “great leveller.”
KXIP skipper Adam Gilchrist, who saved crucial four byes in the final over besides taking two catches, underplayed the drama involved in the end and said, “It was a big game and we haven’t had the best record at home.”
The enthralling finish for those supporting the home team came when KKR failed to score 11 runs off the final over bowled by Praveen Kumar.
In fact, Rajat Bhatia had raised KKR’s hopes by hitting two sixes off Delhi teammate Parvinder Awana before falling in the penultimate over.
Hero Manpreet Grewal
Even as KKR was left looking for the villains, KXIP had its hero in Manpreet Grewal, who insists on not being addressed as ‘Gony’, who made a memorable ‘debut’ for his home team.
The well-built medium pacer used the long-handle to good effect and smashed an 18-ball 42 to lift the team’s spirits, dampened after Narine’s hat-trick that left the team worried at 99 for six from 15 overs.
Grewal’s contribution with the ball, conceding just 18 runs in four overs for the wicket of Gambhir, also helped him become the Man of the Match.
The result also put into shade Narine’s hat-trick which was only the 10th of the competition.
The off-spinner got rid of David Hussey, fortuitously taken by wicket-keeper Manvinder Bisla, held a top-edged return catch of Azhar Mahmood and bowled young Gurkeerat Mann in his second over.
Narine conceded another three off his next over but was hit for 23 runs in his fourth, with Piyush Chawla hitting a four before Grewal hoisted two sixes and a boundary!
Struggling for stands
Earlier, KXIP continued to struggle for partnerships and lost wickets at regular intervals in search of quick runs.
Once again, none of the batsman could reach 50 but the team just about managed to bat 20 overs for the first time, but not before surviving a last-ball scare of a possible run-out.
Mandeep Singh looked in good nick, and so did Manan Vohra but the duo fell to big shots.
David Hussey and new-man David Miller, who later brought out a tumbling catch to send back Yusuf Pathan, kept the scoreboard ticking with singles until Grewal provided the brightest phase of the innings.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist lbw b Senanayake 7 (12b, 1x4); Mandeep Singh c Manvinder Bisla b Kallis 41 (30b, 6x4), Manan Vohra c & b Balaji 17 (16b, 2x4), David Hussey c Bisla b Narine 12 (15b), David Miller b Senanayake 20 (17b, 1x4), Azhar Mahmood c & b Narine 0 (1b), Gurkeerat Mann b Narine 0 (1b), Manpreet Grewal b Kallis 42 (18b, 4x4, 3x6), Piyush Chawla (not out) 11 (8b, 2x4), Praveen Kumar c Yusuf Pathan b Kallis 1 (2b), Parvinder Awana (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-3): 6; Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs): 157.
Fall of wickets: 1-24 (Gilchrist), 2-61 (Mandeep), 3-70 (Vohra), 4-99 (Hussey), 5-99 (Mahmood), 6-99 (Mann), 7-109 (Miller), 8-150 (Grewal), 9-152 (Praveen).
Kolkata Knight Riders bowling: Lakshmipathy Balaji 4-0-39-1, Jacques Kallis 4-0-24-3, Sachithra Senanayake 4-0-28-2, Sunil Narine 4-0-33-3, Rajat Bhatia 4-0-30-0.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Manvinder Bisla c Gilchrist b Praveen 0 (1b), Gautam Gambhir c Gilchrist b Grewal 60 (39b, 9x4), Jacques Kallis c Mandeep b Mahmood 1 (6b), Eoin Morgan c Hussey b Mahmood 47 (38b, 6x4), Manoj Tiwary b Awana 1 (7b), Yusuf Pathan c Miller b Praveen 13 (16b, 2x4), Debabrata Das lbw b Mahmood 1 (3b), Rajat Bhatia b Awana 16 (6b, 2x6), Sachithra Senanayake (run out) 1 (2b), Sunil Narine (not out) 1 (2b), Lakshmipathy Balaji (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (lb-7, w-5): 12; Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs): 153.
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Bisla), 2-1 (Kallis), 3-106 (Gambhir), 4-116 (Morgan), 5-117 (Tiwary), 6-124 (Das), 7-147 (Bhatia), 8-150 (Yusuf), 9-152 (Senanayake).
Kings XI Punjab bowling: Praveen Kumar 4-0-26-2, Azhar Mahmood 4-0-21-3, Manpreet Grewal 4-0-18-1, David Hussey 1-0-14-0, Parvinder Awana 4-0-39-2, Piyush Chawla 3-0-28-0.
Man-of-the-match: Manpreet Grewal.