Punjab v Kolkata, IPL 2013, Mohali April 16, 2013

Gony leads Kings XI's twilight robbery

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Kings XI Punjab 157 for 9 (Gony 42, Mandeep 41, Kallis 3-24, Narine 3-33, Senanayake 2-28) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 153 for 9 (Gambhir 60, Morgan 47, Mahmood 3-21, Praveen 2-26) by 4 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kolkata Knight Riders dominated possession for about 80% of the match, but conceded goals in the last few minutes of either half. Playing his first match of this IPL, Manpreet Gony won Kings XI Punjab this game out of nowhere. The hosts were dead and buried reeling under a Sunil Narine hat-trick when Gony walked out to bat, but his 18-ball 42 gave Kings XI a target to bowl to. Still, Gautam Gambhir and Eoin Morgan were cruising home when Gony came back for his second spell, but those three overs for six runs - two of them wides - and the wicket of Gambhir caused enough panic for Knight Riders to crumble.

Forget the unfathomable - in Twenty20 - spin of Sunil Narine and Sachithra Senanayake, which got Knight Riders the four big wickets of Kings XI's overseas batsmen for just 13 runs off 15 balls, it was the Indian domestic batsmen's ineptitude against the bouncer that proved to be the decider. Kings XI lost four of their batsmen to balls pitched short, but crucially, Knight Riders' Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan were deers in headlights when confronted with accurate bouncers.

When Tiwary came out to bat at the fall of Gambhir for a third straight half-century, Knight Riders needed only 52 off 41 with seven wickets in hand. Gony bounced him again and again, and it got uglier and uglier for Tiwary as he faced seven balls for one run, slogged at more than half of them, and left Knight Riders stuck. Yusuf wasn't much better, except that he lasted longer, and managed a top edge over the keeper in his 13 off 16.

The crucial difference between the two innings was that Mandeep Singh and Manan Vohra of Kings XI had scored some runs - Mandeep managed a crucial 41 - before they were bounced. And when bounced, they didn't waste balls, and got out. Tiwary and Yusuf couldn't get out, and suddenly Knight Riders needed 30 off the last two overs. The problem for Kings XI was that they had run out of the overs from Azhar Mahmood, who took three wickets including that of Jacques Kallis and Morgan.

Kings XI had to bowl Parvinder Awana, and they did so in the 19th over. His Delhi team-mate, Rajat Bhatia, got stuck into him, and his two sixes brought it down to 11 off seven. Awana, though, had his own back as he beat Bhatia on the pull and bowled him top of middle and leg before signing off.

The canny Praveen Kumar had to bowl the crucial last over, and he nearly lost it with a huge wide down the leg side. Adam Gilchrist might be having a horror tournament with the bat, but dived full length to his left to save four runs. The game kept alive, Praveen bowled a superb final over, making sure that he was about a foot behind the front line for every ball. Whoever says he is not mentally fit for cricket is way off the mark.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • squarepeg on April 18, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    KKR is a seriously defective side, with no quality left-arm seam or spin bowler and a total dearth of Indian batsmanship except Gambhir. Even Gambhir is unable to carry on in most innings. Much worse is of course one Yusuf Pathan, followed closely by Manoj Tiwary. If either of them had played even half-decent knocks, KKR could have won two matches (RR and KXIP). KKR would be better off trying Iqbal Abdullah, Shukla, Das. Instead, one can almost see them plumbing for McCullum, another over-hyped player. Mumbai Indians also seem to be struck by same problem- no one except Karthik is consistent. Wait a minute- Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting are also consistent, in failure.

  • harshthakor on April 18, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    I was upset KKR did not get over the line after Bhatia's spectacular assault in the penultimate over which yielded 19 runs.Sadly he threw away his wicket on the last ball of that over, which cost his team a sensational win.The chase had the effects of a Hollywood thriller with continuous twists and turns till the end.The ebb and flow continuously changed .Kolkata appeared to be cruising home before Gambhir fel and after the fifth wicket the match turned in the direction of the Delhi daredevils.

    Overall Kolkata's inability to win after looking all set to attain a moderate target of 157 runs reflects the standard of cricket in the I.P.L.which is morally county or club level.We may well be deriding the game of cricket for pure entertainment even if it is overwhelming.

  • SherjilIslam on April 17, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Being a fan of Yusuf Pathan and KKR, it's painful to accept that he doesn't deserve a place any further in KKR line-up.If you can't win matches in a situation he was in, then you don't deserveany place in the team.Scoring 8 out of 5 is a no big deal.Some sensible batting and a better shot selections could have done it easily, but YK it seems have lost it.The problem is, the more he tries, the more he fails.So, a break could do it for him.

  • Irfan.7a on April 17, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Manoj Tiwari and yusuf pathan have failed to delivere for long time... they are the weak link to the KKR line up.. understand why they have been overlook by Indian Selectors and rightly so...narine's hatrick, Gautam and Morgan;s brilliant knock gone in vain coz of them... still they will be there in next match. they could not make 42 balls 52 runs on a batting track what more KKR fans would expect from them???? sad

  • anw.chw on April 17, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    without Shakib (who was always neglected) this KKR wouldn't even reach the semis this year.......

  • Knight_Rider_11 on April 17, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    I think to bring in the best combo .... KKR need to take McCullum instead of Morgan for the next match ... The only reason is that Bisla is not performing and KKR need a keeper who is in some batting form ... Also take out Balaji n take both Sangwan n Shami ... My KKR XI against CSK .... 1. McCullum 2. Gambhir 3. Kallis 4. Pathan 5. Tiwary 6. Bhatia 7. Das 8. Senanayake 9. Narine 10. Shami 11. Sangwan ..... In this way you have 4 seam bowling options (Shami, Sangwan, Kallis, Bhatia) n 3 spinners (Sena, Narine, Pathan) ... n also a good enough batting line up

  • FoollyFedUp on April 17, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    Gilly's save on the 19.1 delivery swung the match. An irresponsible wide from Praveen was salvaged by Gilly. He still has it in him. Punjab fans would do well to realise his skills even now. Gony was unbelievable. KKR is a fragile hyped-up team.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on April 16, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    Shakib for captain n ting!

  • Affan1984 on April 16, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    Why Shaun Marsh is missing?