Rinku Singh smashed a boundary off the final delivery to power Kolkata Knight Riders to a five-wicket win over Punjab Kings in an IPL 2023 match at the Eden Gardens on Monday.
Moments earlier, Andre Russell’s whirlwind knock (42, 23b, 3x4, 3x6) had carried Knight Riders to the cusp. The West Indian hammered three sixes as 20 runs came off Sam Curran’s 19th over. The equation was down to six from six balls, but a spirited Arshdeep Singh kept Kings in the hunt till the final ball. With two needed, Rinku (21 n.o., 10b, 2x4, 1x6) sealed it with a four. Russell and Rinku figured in a 54-run stand off 27 balls to swing the game Knight Riders’ way.
Chasing a target of 180, Knight Riders started on a brisk note and reached 52 for one in the PowerPlay.
Jason Roy, employed as the Impact Player, set the tone with a flurry of boundaries. The England batter scored 38 (24b, 8x4) before mistiming a sweep off left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar.
Captain Nitish Rana (51) and Venkatesh Iyer were involved in a 51-run third-wicket stand and took Kolkata past the 100-mark. But the asking rate and pressure kept mounting when Russell and Rinku stepped up to the plate.
Earlier, skipper Shikhar Dhawan (57, 47b, 9x4, 1x6) led from the front before Shahrukh Khan (21 not out, 8b, 3x4, 1x6) and Harpreet Brar (17 not out, 9b, 2x4, 1x6) produced fireworks towards the end to power Kings to a challenging total.
Kings got off to a good start as the opening pair of Prabhsimran Singh and Dhawan stroked freely and hit a few boundaries. But Knight Riders got rid of Prabhsimran in the second over and Bhanuka Rajapaksa in the fourth, both falling to Harshit Rana.
Dangerman Liam Livingstone (15) was sent back by Varun Chakaravarthy in the bowler’s first over. The mystery spinner went on to finish with impressive figures of three for 26, his other victims being Jitesh Sharma (caught behind) and Rishi Dhawan (bowled). In the death overs, Shahrukh and Brar struck lusty blows to add 40 from 16 balls and take Kings to 179, but it wasn’t enough.
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