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IPL desk in Mumbai 15 April 2012 - 07:56pm IST

Report: Match 17 – KKR v KXIP

KXIP stun hosts with two-run win at Eden

A terrific team effort from Kings XI Punjab’s bowlers secured them a two-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a keenly contested encounter at the Eden Gardens. Adam Gilchrist’s men successfully defended their total of 134 thanks mainly due to Piyush Chawla and Bhargav Bhatt’s excellent spells. The Knights, struggling to get into a rhythm in IPL 2012, succumbed under pressure once again.

The Kings needed some inspiration if they were to defend their total and it came right at the outset. Paras Dogra flung to his left to send a shocked Jacques Kallis (1) packing in the second over. Gautam Gambhir showed flashes of brilliance during his quickfire innings of 22 but the KKR skipper was found wanting after he checked a drive to gift an easy return catch to Dimitri Mascarenhas. The home side found some solidity thanks to Manvinder Bisla (27) and Manoj Tiwary (20) but Bhargav Bhatt got the better of Tiwary while Bisla was cleaned up by Piyush Chawla.

The talented leggie was just beginning to get into his stride and he struck a double blow by dismissing Yusuf Pathan (0) and Shakib Al Hasan (4) in quick succession. At 88 for six, the Knights were showing signs of frailty but Debabrata Das’ innings was proving to be crucial. With nine required off the last over, Harmeet Singh bowled ten Doeschate. Das couldn’t quite get the boundary off the last ball and the Kings from Punjab got a well-deserved two-run win.

Earlier, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and decided to have a bowl on a dusty Eden Gardens wicket. The KKR skipper’s decision immediately bore fruit as off-spinner Sunil Narine dismissed Adam Gilchrist (5) and the in-form Shaun Marsh (1) in consecutive overs. The Windies spinner first induced the KXIP skipper to play a rash shot that skied up and then completely outfoxed Marsh to rattle his off-stump. At 21 for two the visitors needed to consolidate their innings and the fightback came courtesy a 52-run partnership between Mandeep Singh (38) and David Hussey (32). The right-handed duo batted prudently to keep the runs flowing, albeit at a modest rate. The Knight Riders resumed ascendancy after Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Mandeep. Hussey was the next to go after some miscommunication between him and Paras Dogra resulted in the Aussie’s run-out. The Kings, looking for quick runs, played right into the hands of the Knights as Rajat Bhatia and Narine once again pegged the visitors back; Dogra (6), Bipul Sharma (12), Dimitri Mascarenhas (0), Praveen Kumar (0) and Harmeet Singh (14) all fell to the KKR duo’s skill. Piyush Chawla’s spirited 13*, and Bhargav Bhatt’s last-ball six, helped KXIP reach a competitive total of 134 for nine in 20 overs.

Scorecard

Man-of-the-Match: Sunil Narine for his brilliant five-wicket haul

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