Knight Riders go top with one-wicket win
Kolkata Knight went to the top of the points table with the first one-wicket win in IPL history, off the penultimate ball against Kings XI Punjab
Kolkata Knight Riders went to the top of the points table with the first one-wicket win in IPL history, off the penultimate ball against Kings XI Punjab. In their final league game of IPL 2015 at home, Knight Riders completed the second-highest chase of the tournament at Eden Gardens to finish the season with a 5-1 scoreline in Kolkata.
Kings XI's spinners had them 83 for 4 in the 11th over in pursuit of 184, but a partnership of 53 in 4.1 overs between Andre Russell and Yusuf Pathan revived the chase. After Pathan fell for 29 off 19, Russell went on to blitz 51 off 21. After Russell fell with 25 needed off 19, Piyush Chawla leveled the scores before the last pair scrambled a leg-bye.
Robin Uthappa had kick-started the chase with smooth timing against the seamers and Manish Pandey had taken over from him before the spinners slowed things down.
Pandey, Gautam Gambhir and Suryakumar Yadav fell to the part-time offspinner Glenn Maxwell and Gurkeerat Singh. The asking-rate had gone past 12 by the end of the 12th over when Knight Riders began their fightback.
Russell powered a couple of pulled boundaries off Anureet Singh before he and Pathan launched straight hits off Axar Patel in a 24-run over. Beuran Hendricks, playing his first game of the season in place of Mitchell Johnson, took some punishment as well but removed Pathan with a short ball in the 15th.
Undaunted, Russell swung Anureet repeatedly over midwicket for 19 more in the 16th. Axar had the allrounder caught behind in the 17th but Chawla hit Hendricks for successive fours in the 18th. With seven needed off the last five balls, Chawla heaved Anureet for six over deep midwicket. He was caught behind next ball, but his 18 off 11 had sealed it for Knight Riders.
The hosts had been responsible for having to chase such a big total in the first place. They put down M Vijay thrice and Manan Vohra twice at the start of the Kings XI innings to let the openers put on 45 inside six overs. Maxwell and Wriddhiman Saha then added 65 for the third wicket in 5.4 overs. Maxwell belatedly found some form as he connected with some reverse-sweeps and slogs, going past 100 runs for the season in his eighth innings with 43 off 22.
Both Saha and Maxwell went to Sunil Narine in the 17th over, the offspinner ending with figures of 4 for 19, his best performance of the season tripling his wicket-tally.
Narine out of the way, David Miller slammed Russell for two sixes and two fours in the last over to set the hosts a daunting target. It consumed almost all their resources, but they scraped through in the end.
Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo