Knight Riders cruise to comfortable victory
The Kings XI Punjab slumped to their fifth defeat in this years IPL to leave their chances of a place in the semi finals in tatters as the Kolkata Knight Riders completed a comprehensive 39 run victory.
Sourav Ganguly (50) and Manoj Tiwary (75) both scored half centuries to help the Knight Riders set the Kings XI a target of 184 to claim their second victory of the tournament.
The Kings XI got of to the worst possible start losing Ravi Bopara (0) in the first over of their run chase after he was trapped LBW by Shane Bond from just the second ball of the innings.
Yuvraj Singh and Mavinder Bisla struggled to keep up with the run rate as Bond and Ashok Dinda bowled with pass and presicon to slow the pair down.
The shackles were broken by Yuvraj in the 5th over when he attacked the bowling of Ajit Agarkar hitting the experienced Indian for a four and six before he tried one attacking shot to many and was caught by Tiwary at mid wicket to leave the home side 41-2.
The knight Riders increased their pressure on the game in the 7th over when Bisla was caught by David Hussey to give the impressive Agarkar his second wicket of the night and leave the Kings XI in trouble.
Kumar Sangakkara (30) and Mahela Jayawardene (16) offered some resistant building a valuable partnership of 38 but the pair fell within the space of 5 balls to halt the Kings XIís run chase with the home side 98-5.
With the lost of their senior players the Kings XI were in big trouble and even though Irfan Pathan and Karan Goel enjoyed a 6th wicket partnership of 37 the Knight Riders remained in control to claim the victory.
Having won the toss and elected to bat the Knight Riders got off to a fantastic start thanks to Chris Gayle who smashed 14 runs off Brett Leeís first over back in the IPL after recovering from an elbow injury he picked up last summer.
The Kings XI responded well to Gayleís onslaught with Irfan Pathan only conceding eight runs in the second over before Shalabh Srivastava struck an over later to dismiss the West Indies captain thanks to a brilliant catch by Mavinder Bisla at mid wicket.
Having conceded 19 runs in his first over Lee bounced back giving away just 5 runs in the 4th over before Srivastava picked up his second wicket of the night at the end of the next over to dismiss Mandeep Singh (4) leaving the Knight Riders 45-2.
Ganguly and Tiwary built an important 3rd wicket partnership of 79 which saw the Knight Riders past the 130 mark before Ganguly (50) was caught by Piyush Chawla at long off to give Pathan the important breakthrough.
David Hussey who came into bat at number five only lasted 5 ball before he was bowled by Chawla to leave the Knight Riders 130-4.
With Ganguly and Hussey back in the dug out Tiwary remained at the crease to help the Knight Riders reach 183-5 thanks to a brilliant last over which saw Pathan concede 21 runs to leave the Kings XI under pressure.