Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would be wary of a transformed and formidable Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in their Indian Premier League face-off at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday. If the visitors beat KKR, Glenn Maxwell’s side will become the first team this season to win three matches on a trot. The opponent team, KKR started their match with the openers of Chris Lynn and Gautham Gambhir.
In the end Rana smashed a fifty and even though he fell in the penultimate over Hardik managed to get the Mumbai Indians over the line with some help from a few generous KKR fielders. The South African scored a match-winning 58 against RCB in the last game and his decent run of form has kept the experienced Shaun Marsh out of the playing XI. Mumbai Indians have always registered their win in this stadium against to the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Things didn’t look to be going Mumbai’s way in the chase, both Jos Buttler and Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma given out to erroneous lbw decisions before Rana and Pandya took matters into their own hands. Manish Pandey (25, 16b; 2×4, 1×6) hit a six off Marcus Stoinis for the winning runs. That’s when Hardik Pandya decided it was time for him to take up the cudgels. At the start of the 19th over, with Mumbai needing 30 to win, Rana strolled across to the off side against Ankit Rajpoot, exposing all three stumps.
Gambhir also rued the “life” given to Pandya, in the fourth delivery of the ultimate over, when Rishi Dhawan could not get near a top edge from the batsman on the dewy turf. Again Hardik Pandya showed his final massive shots after the first match against Rising Pune Supergiants.
The official Kolkata Knight Riders handle also had a tweet saying Lynn had gone under an MRI scan, the report of which is yet to be announced. Apart from Gambhir, Sunil Narine, Trent Boult and Darren Bravo were together colouring one art frame. Instead, Rana was gifted two full tosses by Ankit Rajpoot: one was scooped all the way and the other lofted over mid-off for 10 runs in two balls.
Just when the pair looked good for a decent opening wicket stand, Chawla – in his very first ball – broke their 53-run association with a googly that went through Vohra’s defence.