Punjab Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 7 runs (via DLS method) in Match 2 of the TATA IPL at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s free-flowing 50 off 32 balls and Shikhar Dhawan’s composed 40 (29) helped PBKS post a competitive 191/5. Arshdeep Singh led from the front with the ball and bowled a brilliant spell of 3/19 as a collective bowling effort from the bowlers saw PBKS restrict KKR to 146/7. PBKS won the match by 7 runs via the DLS method in the rain-affected match.
Chasing 192, KKR got lucky first up as Mandeep Singh survived a run out chance trying to go for a risky single in the first over. The fielder missed a direct hit and Mandeep would have been short. Rahmanullah Gurbaz though got going straight away with a massive six and a flicked four off the Curran over.
Mandeep’s luck didn’t last long as he mistimed a pull straight to deep mid-wicket as Arshdeep Singh struck off his very first ball. Anukul Roy got off the mark with a powerful loft over mid on for four but three balls later, Arshdeep sent him back as he mistimed his pull straight to mid-wicket.
KKR introduced Venkatesh Iyer as their Impact Player who replaced Varun Chakravarthy. The away side lost another wicket inside the Powerplay as Nathan Ellis cleaned up Gurbaz on 22, off his second ball of the match.
Iyer released some pressure as he hit consecutive fours off Sikandar Raza to take KKR to 46/3 at the end of the Powerplay. Captain Nitish Rana kept the scoreboard ticking as he pressed the accelerator button hitting a couple of fours and a six as he and Iyer collected 10 off Raza and 15 runs from the Rishi Dhawan over.
However, against the run of play, Sikandar Raza broke the partnership as he had Rana (24) caught at backward point. KKR lost another one as Rahul Chahar sent back Rinku Singh off his first ball via a googly to peg KKR back. With the run-rate creeping up, Russell took the aggressive route and hit 20 off 11 but he then got a reprieve as he top edged a pull off Ellis and the fielder Prabhsimran Singh dropped it. Iyer then smacked a six off a Free-Hit ball from Ellis as the dramatic over cost PBKS 18 runs.
Another eventful over followed as Russell hit a six and four off Curran but the England all-rounder bounced back hard to dismiss Russell off the next ball. Shardul arrived at the crease and hit the first ball for a six over deep mid-wicket as the equation came down to 56 needed off 30.
Arshdeep came back and picked up Iyer’s wicket with another short ball as he had him caught at backward point. Narine then hit a six off his second ball before the rain came pelting down and no more play was possible. KKR were seven runs behind on DLS par.
Earlier, KKR captain Nitish Rana won the toss and elected to bowl. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was handed his IPL debut as KKR named Suyash Sharma, Vaibhav Arora, N Jagadeesan, Venkatesh Iyer and David Wiese as substitutes. PBKS, on the other hand, handed debut to Sikandar Raza and named Rishi Dhawan, Atharva Taide, Matthew Short, Harpreet Singh Bhatia and Mohit Rathee as their substitutes.
PBKS opener Prabhsimran Singh started off in an aggressive fashion as he flicked the fourth ball of the innings, from Umesh Yadav, over deep backward square leg for a six as they collected 9 from the first over. Prabhsimran took the attack to Southee in the next over as whipped Southee’s first ball powerfully to fine leg for a four and then charged down the ground and smacked it wide of mid off for consecutive fours and then smashed one over deep mid-wicket for a six. But it was Southee who had the last laugh as he had Prabhsimran Singh caught behind, strangled down the leg side off the final ball of the over.
After a quiet over from Umesh Yadav which yielded just a single, Shikhar Dhawan got into a groove as he slashed a couple through covers for consecutive fours. Bhanuka Rajapaksa didn’t let Sunil Narine settle as he lofted a couple of fours and then hammered a six straight down the ground to accumulate 14 runs off the over.
PBKS reached 56/1 at the end of six overs, their highest powerplay score vs KKR. Rajapaksa then went after Shardul Thakur and hit him for a four and a six.
Dhawan and Rajapaksa continued to attack as they garnered 31 runs off the next three overs as PBKS brought up their 100 in the 10th over. Rajapaksa then brought up his fifty off just 30 balls.
KKR desperately needed a wicket at this point. Nitish Rana brought back Umesh Yadav and it worked as he broke the 86-run stand (55 balls) by having Rajapaksa caught at long on off a slower one.
Rajapaksa’s wicket didn’t deter PBKS from continuing the aggressive approach as Jitesh Sharma attacked from the word go and hit a six each off Narine and Tim SOuthee. The Kiwi pacer however bounced back to outfox Jitesh (21 off 11) with a slower one and have him caught at short third man after being hit for a six off the previous ball.
Varun Chakravarthy struck in the next over as he cleaned up the set Dhawan (40 off 29) with a quicker one to jolt PBKS.
It was a start-stop kind of finish for PBKS as Sikandar Raza and Sam Curran continued to accelerate and added 25 off 20 balls but Narine bowled a brilliant 18th over to give away just four runs and pick the wicket of Raza as well. Shahrukh Khan (11 off 7) and Sam Curran (26 off 17) then provided the late surge as they added 23 off 13 balls including 15 runs in the last over bowled by Southee to take PBKS to 191/5. PBKS scored 48/1 in the last five overs. Varun Chakravarthy (4-0-26-1) and Umesh Yadav (4-0-27-1) were top performers for KKR while bowling.
PBKS brought on Rishi Dhawan as the impact player in the innings break as he replaced Bhanuka Rajapaksa.