Kolkata Knight Riders have climbed to the top of IPL 2016 table, defeating Kings XI Punjab with ridiculous ease by six wickets at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. KKR batsmen and bowlers shone in Mohali, to script their third win of the season.
KKR bowlers bowled with great character to dismiss Kings XI batsmen at regular intervals. Kings XI scored 138 runs from their allotted 20 overs, and KKR batsmen looked top class to win the match in 17.1 overs.
The KKR openers â€“ Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa â€“ provided an amazing start, as the duo scored runs with ease. Uthappa looked in complete control. The wicket-keeper batsman played his shots against the Kings XI bowlers, who looked helpless as Uthappa hit delightful boundaries during the chase.
The openers scored 65 runs during the Powerplay, which just made KKR's task easier as runs began to flow from Uthappa's bat to all parts of the ground. Gambhir, on the other hand, played the anchor role.
However, Pardeep Sahu broke the partnership in the ninth over, after Uthappa had completed his half-century. Uthappa scored 53 runs. The leggie dismissed Gambhir for 34 runs in the 11th over as well.
But the Knight Riders were already en route to victory as they just required 48 runs with eight wickets remaining. Though Axar Patel dismissed Manish Pandey and Shakib-Al Hasan in the 14th and 16th over respectively, it proved too late as KKR reached the target with 17 balls to spare.
Earlier, Kings XI openers â€“ Murali Vijay and Manan Vohra -- failed to provide a solid start. Vohra was back into the pavilion, scoring eight runs only, which was a major drawback.
Hence there was pressure on Vijay to bat for longer duration, but things looked worse when the right-hander lost his wicket in the eighth over. Kings XI could not really get into the game despite promoting Wriddhiman Saha, who failed, scoring eight runs from 14 balls.
Kings XI lost wickets at regular intervals, as they were four wickets down for 72 runs. Shaun Marsh was batting well, scoring runs all around the park, but he did not receive much support from the top order batsmen at the other end. The KKR spinners bowled brilliantly, with Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla not allowing the KXIP batsmen to get on top. Narine scalped two wickets during the game.
Marsh was the only batsmen, who looked in good shape, top-scoring with 56 runs. However, Kings XI finished on a high, scoring 20 runs from the final over, reaching a total of 138 runs in the batting-friendly surface.
Such total was never going to pose much problems to KKR batsmen, who did not waste much time, and reached the target in the 18th over.