IPL 2021, KKR vs PBKS: Who won yesterday's match?

PBKS skipper KL Rahul. Pic: IPLT20.COM
PBKS skipper KL Rahul. Pic: IPLT20.COM

The Punjab Kings (PBKS) just about held their nerve to defeat the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by five wickets in Match 45 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Dubai on Friday.

Chasing 166, PBKS were in a good position at 84 for 1 in the 11th over. But in trademark fashion, they stumbled to 134 for 4. Skipper KL Rahul, who made a fine 67, once again fell in the last over. But a cameo from Shahrukh Khan (22* off 9 balls) ensured PBKS got home with three balls to spare.

There was a massive moment in the penultimate over when Rahul Tripathi claimed a brilliant diving catch of Rahul at deep midwicket. However, the decision was referred and the third umpire concluded that the ball had hit the ground. The PBKS skipper then slammed a waist-high full-toss from Shivam Mavi over point for four to bring the equation down to five off six balls.

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With PBKS, though, you cannot expect a last over devoid of drama. And in keeping with the script, Rahul holed out in the deep off Venkatesh Iyer. Shahrukh then smashed a length ball to deep midwicket. Tripathi tried to take another catch but the ball hit his hands and lobbed over the ropes as PBKS went past the finish line. It was that kind of a day for KKR.

Earlier, PBKS openers Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (40 off 27) got the team off to yet another assured start. Of course, they were helped by KKR skipper Eoin Morgan, who dropped Agarwal at cover in the very first over. In the same over by Tim Southee, the PKBS opener smashed a four past extra cover. In the same bowler’s next over, he clubbed one over mid-off for a maximum.

When Sunil Narine was introduced in the last over before the powerplay, Agarwal sent one over the ropes over long on, bringing the bottom hand into play. PBKS reached 46 for no loss at the end of the sixth over, with skipper Rahul content at rotating the strike.

Searching for wickets, Morgan introduced Iyer only for Agarwal to launch a full toss over extra cover for another maximum. It was Varun Chakravarthy who broke the opening stand as Agarwal drove a flighted delivery to cover and this time Morgan made no mistake.

In the very next over, Tripathi dropped Nicholas Pooran at cover off Narine. KKR did not have to pay dearly as Pooran (12) perished soon after, slicing Chakravarthy to deep backward point immediately after hitting him for a six.

With the pressure building, Rahul clubbed a full delivery from Iyer over cow corner for a six in the 13th over. The PBKS skipper raised his fifty by flat-batting a slower ball from Southee for another maximum over wide long-on. Aiden Markram then launched Narine for a big six over deep midwicket. Narine kept KKR’s faint hopes alive, as Markram (18) slashed the bowler straight to deep extra cover.

Mavi then sent back Deepak Hooda (3) as the batter miscued an off-cutter into the hands of deep midwicket. Then, Shahrukh was almost caught at deep square leg but ended up getting six. He hooked a short ball and the fielder, Iyer, flung himself and got a hand to the ball. He tried juggling the ball but could not control himself and tumbled over the ropes.

A smashing four in Southee’s next over left PBKS with 15 to get off the last two overs. They did not get there smoothly, but all that mattered to them was they did!

PBKS restrict KKR to 165/7 despite Venkatesh Iyer’s 67

KKR opener Venkatesh Iyer. Pic: IPLT20.COM
KKR opener Venkatesh Iyer. Pic: IPLT20.COM

KKR opener Venkatesh Iyer continued his cracking form in IPL 2021, smashing 67 from 49 balls. However, the PBKS bowlers made a comeback in the end overs to restrict KKR to 165 for 7.

After being sent into bat, KKR were 120 for 3 in the 15th over when Iyer was dismissed. The batting side lost 4 for 44 in the last five overs, failing short of the 170-run mark.

KKR did not get off to a good start in their innings as Shubman Gill (7) was bowled by Arshdeep Singh with one that shaped in late and crashed through the batter’s defence.

Iyer and Rahul Tripathi (34 off 26) then added 72 for the second wicket to put KKR on top. The powerplay ended with a flourish as Iyer hit two fours off Nathan Ellis. After driving a slower ball past mid-off (thanks to a misfield), a length ball was clipped between midwicket and mid-on.

The duo played some attractive strokes. At the start of the 9th over, Tripathi swept left-arm spinner Fabian Allen for a maximum. He was looking good for a lot more when he mistimed a slog sweep off Ravi Bishnoi and was caught at long on.

Iyer soon got to his second IPL fifty and celebrated by clobbering Allen over deep midwicket. In the next over bowled by Ellis, he paddled the bowler with ease over short fine leg for four and got another boundary by smashing a drive past extra cover.

It needed Bishnoi’s guile to end Iyer’s brilliance. The KKR opener slog swept a googly straight down the throat of deep midwicket. Eoin Morgan’s (2) poor run continued as he was trapped in front of the stumps by an accurate Mohammed Shami.

Nitish Rana (31 off 18) scored a few handy boundaries. Arshdeep, however, outsmarted him, forcing him to slog a slower delivery to deep midwicket. Shami ran out KKR debutant Tim Seifert (2) with a direct hit while Arshdeep knocked off Dinesh Karthik (11) as only 14 runs came off KKR’s last two overs. It made a big difference in the end.

IPL 2021, KKR vs PBKS: Who was the Man of the Match?

After KKR’s impressive start, Arshdeep (3/32) and Bishnoi (2/22) kept PBKS in the game with some fine bowling.

When PBKS batted, captain Rahul led from the front with a sublime half-century while Agarwal contributed a handsome 40. Shahrukh’s contribution of 22 not out from 9 was also significant.

Iyer once again was top-notch for KKR, slamming 67 off 49. Tripathi and Rana contributed swift 30s. Chakravarthy (2/24) was good with the ball again, taking out Agarwal and Pooran.

Rahul, who also took the Orange Cap, was named Man of the Match for his innings.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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