Shubman Gill slammed a brilliant half-century but Kings XI Punjab bowlers produced an outstanding performance to restrict Kolkata Knight Riders to a paltry total of 149 for 9 in the Dream11 Indian Premier League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Put in to bat by KXIP skipper KL Rahul, KKR were rocked by a triple strike early in their innings as they were reduced to 10 for 3 in the second over.
Glenn Maxwell dismissed opener Nitish Rana in the first over to give KXIP a perfect start. Mohammed Shami then struck twice in one over to send back Rahul Tripathi and former captain Dinesh Karthik to put KKR in a spot of bother.
Gill (57) and Eoin Morgan (40) counter-attacked after KKR lost top-order inside the powerplay. The duo of Gill and Moran added 81 runs in nearly eight overs by maintaining a healthy run-rate of around ten per over. At the halfway stage of the innings, KKR were well placed at 90 for 4.
However, just when it looked KKR would pile up a big score, Ravi Bishnoi struck. Morgan tried to sweep the young leggie but was caught in the deep at square leg. It turned out to be the turning point as KKR lost momentum after Morgan’s dismissal. Morgan cracked 40 in 25 balls with the help of 5 boundaries and a couple of sixes.
Last match hero, Chris Jordan castled Sunil Narine to turn the tables on KKR and put them in a tough position yet again. Narine tried to hit Jordan towards mid-wicket but played-on.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Pat Cummins departed cheaply to leave KKR tottering. Gill got to his seventh fifty in the IPL but failed to stay on till the end. The 21-year-old opener faced 45 balls and plundered three fours and four sixes to steady the innings.
Lockie Ferguson hammered some boundaries towards the death to carry KKR to 149. Ferguson remained unbeaten on 24 off just 13 balls.
Kolkata Knight Riders 149 for 9 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 57, Eoin Morgan 40, Lockie Ferguson 24 not out; Mohammed Shami 3-35, Ravi Bishnoi 2-20, Chris Jordan 2-25, Glenn Maxwell 1-21, Murugan Ashwin 1-27) vs Kings XI Punjab.