Punjab Kings’ costliest recruit Sam Curran dismissed the dangerous Andre Russell at the nick of time to ensure a seven-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders via Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-hit afternoon encounter of Indian Premier League, here on Saturday.
Chasing a target of 192, KKR were left stranded at 146 for 7 after 16 overs when heavy downpour put spanner on their hardwork. The DLS par score at that time was 153.
Had KKR not lost Russell (35 off 19 balls), who was looking to walk away with the game and then Venkatesh Iyer to Arshdeep Singh in the next over, the par score would have been lower before heavens opened up.
The two wickets in the 15th and 16th over proved to be decisive as KKR needed 46 off 24 balls at that stage with Shardul Thakur (8 not out) and Sunil Narine (7 not out) were at the crease.
Kolkata needed 62 from 32 balls when Curran dismissed an on-song Russell and Arshdeep removed the ‘Impact Substitute’ Venkatesh Iyer (34) which proved to be turning point. Russell was holed at deep mid-wicket and Iyer was snapped at point.
The burly West Indian Russell had ignited KKR’s hopes of a turnaround with three fours and two sixes, while Iyer made the first real impact with in his 28 ball knock that had three fours and a six.
KKR had a poor start as they were reduced to 29/3 inside the first five overs but a 46-run stand for the fourth wicket between Iyer and skipper Nitish Rana (24) brought them back in contest. Then a 50-run partnership between Iyer and Russell put them on course for a possible chase.
But KKR just did not have enough firepower in them on the day and Arshdeep’s brilliant figures of 3/19 in 3 overs was a game-changer for the ‘Red Devils’.
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