An animated talk during the team huddle before the match by Kolkata Knight Riders Kipper Dinesh Karthik clearly showed how much KKR was desperate for a win to keep their play-offs hopes alive . And they did that in style , thumping Kings XI Punjab by 7 wickets at Mohali during their IPL encounter.
KKR skipper Karthik won the toss asked Kings to bat first. There was trouble for hosts early with Universe Boss Chris Gayle ( 14) and in-form K L Rahul ( 2) falling early. Mayank Agarwal ( 36) and aggressive Nicholas Pooran coming in place of David Miller played superbly for his 48 ( 3 fours , 4 sixes) to put the innings on track . Mandeep Singh chipped in with 25. But the real impetus and the credit for reaching the total they go goes to English- all-rounder Sam Curran. Curran was brilliant in his cameo a 24 ball unbeaten 55 with 7 fours and two sixes. It was Curran’s blitz that helped Kings reach 183/ 6 in their 20 overs.
For KKR the wicket- takers were , Sandeep Warrier 2/ 31 ( 4 overs) , Harry Gurney 1/ 41 ( 4 overs) , Andre Russell 1/ 29 ( 3 overs) and Nitish Rana 1/ 8 ( 1 over)
In reply the KKR were aggressive from the word go. They made most of the power-plays . Chris Lynn started the charge. He was blistering in his 22 ball 46 studded with 5 fours and three sixes. His opening partner Shubman Gill remained unbeaten with a blazing 65 off mere 49 balls with 5 fours and two sixes. In the power- plays the pair blasted 62 off 6 overs to give the side the momentum. Robin Uthappa ( 22 ) , Andre Russell ( 24) and Skipper Dinesh Karthik unbeaten on 21 saw KKR home with two overs to spare. reaching the target 185/ 3 in 18 overs
Kings were unable to stop the rampage of Gill and Lynn and their bowling fell apart. Mohammed Shami 1/ 15 ( 3 overs) , skipper Ravichandran Ashwin 1/ 38 ( 4 overs) , Andrew Tye 1/ 41 ( 4 overs) , Sam Curran 0/ 41 ( 4 overs)
KKR has now 12 points same as Sunrisers Hyderabad , while Kings have 10 and are now out of play- offs contention. Once again the Kings were let down in the tournament after a bright start to their campaign. A repeat of last year, fine start only to flop in the middle to crash out .