Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Kings XI Punjab by seven wickets to keep their chances alive of making it to the playoffs in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Chasing 184, KKR rode on the unbeaten half-century from Shubhman Gill as they easily crossed the line with 12 balls to spare at the IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali on Friday night.
Gill, who opened the batting with Chris Lynn, remained unbeaten on 65 off 49 balls, his innings laced with five fours and two sixes. After the match, KKR captain Dinesh Karthik praised the 19-year-old, saying the Punjab batsman, who has been promoted to open in the innings in place of Sunil Narine in recent matches, has grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
“It’s fair that we have given Gill a chance at the top of the order, and he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” said Karthik in the post-match presentation ceremony.
The KKR skipper further said he was not happy with his bowlers and fielders during the first innings and that’s why he decided to show his anger.
When Punjab were batting, there were moments when Karthik was seen shouting and screaming at his bowlers.
“I wasn’t too happy with what the bowlers and the fielders were doing, so I thought I should let the boys know what I felt at that time,” said Karthik. “It is rare, not many people have seen me angry. If I feel I need to be angry to get the best out of the boys, then maybe.”
Earlier, England all-rounder Sam Curran (55 off 24 balls not out) notched up his maiden IPL half-century with the help of seven fours and two sixes as Kings XI posted 183/6, plundering 58 runs in the last five overs after being put in to bat.
“The last over went for 10 runs too many, but we have to give it to Sam Curran. IPL is that kind of a tournament where someone comes in and scores runs for you, so there’s that balance,” said Karthik while praising Curran.
Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin said they lost the plot after the first three overs in the second innings.
“It’s been a par total. We have defended 175-180 before but we knew very well that there’s gonna be dew in the second half and I thought they batted really well. Starting with Lynny and then Gill played superbly,” he said while heaping praise on Gill and Lynn.
“We bowled well in the first three overs and then it just got a little away from us and obviously that edges didn’t help,” he added.
With 10 points from 13 games, Kings XI Punjab will host table-toppers Chennai Super Kings on Sunday while KKR— with 12 points from 13 games—will face Mumbai Indians later on the same day.