IPL 2021: Bowlers Set Up Clinical Win as KKR Bounce Back to Thrash PBKS

A clinical bowling performance followed by adequate batting by Kolkata Knight Riders thumped Punjab Kings by five wickets  in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Monday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

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Disciplined bowling, first by the pacers and then by spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, helped restrict Punjab Kings (PBKS) to 123/9 . KKR lost five wickets for the chase but got it done in 16.4 overs, captain Eoin Morgan (47) and Rahul Tripathi (41) scoring 40s.

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Shivam Mavi set it up with a spell of 1 for 13 from 4 overs straight with the new ball. Narine then took 2 wickets for 22 and Varun Chakravarthy 1 for 24 as KKR got wickets at frequent intervals to derail the PBKS innings.

Opener Mayank Agarwal scored 31 off 34 balls while Chris Jordan chipped in with 30 off 18 deliveries towards the end of the innings to get PBKS past 100.

Apart from them, there was little to show for Punjab batsmen. There were a few starts here and there but the nature of the pitch – a little two paced – called for better application.

Agarwal had shared a 36-run partnership with skipper KL Rahul for the first wicket in 5.4 overs but three quick wickets — of Rahul (19), Chris Gayle (0) and Deepak Hooda (1) — set the Punjab franchise back, reducing them to 42/3 in 7.4 overs. Rahul fell caught at mid off looking to attack Pat Cummins, Gayle was caught behind off Mavi and Hooda was taken sharply by Eoin Morgan at point off Prasidh Krishna.

Soon Agarwal departed as spinners came into operation during the middle overs. When Nicholas Pooran (19) was dismissed – bowled by Varun – as the sixth man and the score read 79, PBKS were in danger of getting bowled out for under 100. However, Jordan hit some lusty blows to take the team to their eventual score.

It was an opportunity for KKR’s openers to get some runs and confidence under their belt. However, both Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill failed. Rana hit a full toss to cover for a first-ball duck, while Gill was lbw by Shami.

Narine, batting at No. 4, was caught sensationally in the deep by Ravi Bishnoi off Arshdeep Singh to leave KKR 17 for 3 in 3 overs. There was life in the match again, with pressure on captain Eoin Morgan.

However, Morgan and Rahul Tripathi paced their reply perfectly to get KKR back on top. Tripathi counter attacked with the odd boundary while Morgan played second fiddle perfectly as the duo added 66 for the fourth wicket.

Tripathi then fell caught at long on off Deepak Hooda, but the job was almost done. Andre Russell being run out for 10 (9) created a little bit of interest but Morgan was there to take KKR home.

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