What a match! Simply amazing! A nail-bitter till the end, the match basically belonged to the bowlers. In the end, there was very little difference between the two sides. It would be, however, wrong to say that the match was evenly poised throughout. The home team had a definite upper hand after restricting the visitors for a decent 134 that looked to be a par score on the dry Eden pitch. But having such a depth in the batting line-up, one was always inclined to put the odds in favor of the Knights. But they flattered to deceive and in the end, it was Kings XI Punjab who had the last laugh.
The Knights started off well and bowled a good line and length except Jaydev Unadkat who looked wayward as he conceded 32 off three overs. Sunil Narine was the pick of the bowlers returning with figures of 4-0-19-5 which included 2 wickets off consecutive balls. Rajat Bhatia was also good at the other end and put the pressure on the Punjab batsmen.
On the other hand, it wasn’t a good start for the Punjab outfit as KKR marched on to 74/2 after 11 overs and looked good to seal a comfortable win. But three quick wickets served as an inspiration for Gilchrist’s men. But the best was saved for the last. Needing nine runs off the last over, young Harmeet Singh kept his nerves and gave away only six runs and a leg-bye to march back home in a tense finish.
Thus, the day belonged particularly to the slow bowlers as the crowd saw as many as 16 wickets toppling. Here is a comparative graph of the bowlers.
Yes, it’s too close to call. As expected, the spinners played a huge role in both the innings with the slow bowlers performing the job of restricting the batsmen.
In the end, the defining moment was the three quick dismissals in the course of two overs. Also you may say that the last ball six in the Kings’ innings saw them through. Well, that’s what T20 is all about. You’ve got the tension, the entertainment and the cheering moments. Gilchrist will be a happy captain at the end of the day. As for the Knights, they have got to break free of this habit of choking in the end.
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