IPL 2017: All-round KKR trumps KXIP

KKR's second victory of the season ensured its eighth win on-the-trot over KXIP.

Gautam Gambhir dazzled with his strokes and saw his side home.   -  PTI

Umesh Yadav celebrated his return to action with a four-wicket haul and Gautam Gambhir scored his 33rd Indian Premier League (IPL) half-century as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) outsmarted Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets to get back to winning ways in front of around 60,000 supporters at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday night.

Full scorecard

KKR restricted KXIP to 170 and accomplished the target with 21 balls to spare. KKR's second victory of the season ensured its eighth win on-the-trot over KXIP.

KXIP opening duo of Hashim Amla and Manan Vohra again provided their side a bright start by gathering 53 runs in five overs. Amla showed his classy touch to pick up four boundaries.

A fearless Vohra looked terrific with his timing and placement as he drove Boult through cover and flicked off the hips past the wicketkeeper to pick up consecutive fours. Vohra got a life on 17 off Boult but could not make the most of it.

Vohra was bowled off Piyu Chawla's first deivery, a googly, as Gambhir kept his cool and rotated his bowlers wisely.

Sunil Narine bowled Marcus Stoinis in his second over and dried up runs with the mystery around his bowling.

The pacers provided breakthroughs though. Umesh had danger-man Glenn Maxwell, who casually hammered Chawla for a six and two fours in a dashing 14-ball 25, caught behind with a short one.

Next over, Andre Russell's replacement Colin de Grandhomme claimed Amla by inducing a leading edge and help KKR wrest some control.

David Miller and Wriddhiman Saha counter-attacked to form a 57-run stand from 34 balls. The daring Miller was in his usual self in his 28, while Saha indulged in clean strokeplay in his useful 25.

KKR bowlers fought back well to silence the KXIP batsmen in the death over, conceding only 36 in last five.

Umesh, who enjoyed the bounce, varied his pace and kept it on the stumps, played a major role by scalping three batsmen in his final over and KKR's 17th. He got rid of Miller and Saha in successive deliveries and Axar Patel a ball later to expose the KXIP tail.

KKR's ploy to promote Narine as an opener clicked. The West Indian unleashed some lusty shots in his 18-ball 37. He hit two successive sixes and a four off Varun Aaron on the leg-side before holing out in the deep midwicket to play his role to perfection.

Narine, who opened the innings for Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League, and Gambhir (72 off 49, including 11 fours) added 76 runs (KKR's highest powerplay score) to take the momentum away from KXIP.

Gambhir, who dominated the off-side against the pacers and leg-side against Maxwell, dazzled with his strokes and saw his side home.