IPL 2021, KKR vs PBKS: Punjab pulls off a final over thriller, thanks to KL Rahul and some luck
Punjab Kings stayed in contention for the IPL 2021 playoffs, with a five-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai on Friday. As a result, PBKS has risen to the fifth spot.
It was a nervy outing by Punjab Kings (PBKS), as it defeated former champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by five wickets in Match 45 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday. While KL Rahul's innings of 67 played a decisive role, along with some luck going its way, it has risen to the fifth spot to stay in the playoffs race.
Winning the toss, PBKS elected to bowl, as both sides made a couple of changes. KKR was off to a jittery start, losing Shubman Gill (7) in the third over to pacer Arshdeep Singh with 18 runs on the board.
However, it was followed by an impressive 72-run stand between Venkatesh Iyer (67) and Rahul Tripathi (34) before spinner Ravi Bishnoi dismissed the latter in the 12th. He was followed by the former in the 15th by the same man, at 120.
Nonetheless, KKR continued coming up with partnerships every now and then despite the breakthroughs, frustrating DC. It was followed by a 29-run stand between Nitish Rana (36*) and Dinesh Karthik (12) before the latter departed to pacer Avesh in the 15th, at 96. At the same time, Rana had an excellent over against spinner Lalit Yadav.
While skipper Eoin Morgan (2) fell to seamer Mohammed Shami in the 16th, four runs later, at 149, Nitish Rana (31) walked back after Arshdeep got rid of him in the 18th. Thereon, KKR lacked a genuine partnership.
KKR finished on 165/7, losing a couple of more wickets in the process. PBKS put in five bowlers into the attack, as Arshdeep claimed three, while Bishnoi had the best economy.
As PBKS came out for the chase, it was off to a brilliant start, with KL Rahul (67) and Mayank Agarwal (40) contributing to a 70-run opening stand before the latter fell to spinner Varun Chakravarthy in the ninth over. He was followed by Nicholas Pooran (12) in the 11th over to the same man, 14 runs later.
However, a 45-run stand between Rahul and Aiden Markram (18) strengthened the PBKS innings, as the side stayed in the chase, while a couple of dropped catches already hurt KKR's luck. At 129, Markram fell to mystery spinner Sunil Narine in the 16th, followed by Deepak Hooda (3) to pacer Shivam Mavi in the following over, five runs later.
The equation was five off six in the final over, as pacer Iyer got rid of Rahul at 162, having survived a close call the same over. As Shahrukh was on strike in the third delivery of the over, he smashed one towards deep midwicket before the fielder stationed there fumbled with the catch and put it over the ropes to hand PBKS a win by five wickets. KKR utilised six bowlers, with Chakravarthy claiming a couple, while he was also the most economical of all.
Brief scores: KKR 165/7 (Iyer- 67, Tripath- 34, Rana- 31; Arshdeep- 3/32) lost to PBKS 168/5 in 19.3 overs (Rahul- 67, Mayank- 40; Chakravarthy- 2/24) by five wickets.