With both the sides coming off wins in their respective last matches, this match became all the more exciting as 2 wins from 2 matches could mean a strong position in the points table. Among the two sides, Kings XI Punjab who after their shocking win over Pune (seen as probably one of the strongest side in IPL 2016) were desperately seeking another win as in spite of a strong performance in their last match, they still found themselves at the bottom of the points table.

Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Date 19 Apr 2016
Venue Punjab Cricket Association Stadium
138/8 (20)   141/4 (17.1)
Knight Riders won by 6 wickets

KKR won the toss and elected to bowl first

Gambhir’s Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and as has been the trend so far this season; KKR opted to bowl first – for those who missed our yesterday’s post match report, in IPL 2016’s 12 matches played so far, 11 have been won by the team chasing.

Both the Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab went into this match unchanged from their victorious last matches [KXIP had won in the KXIP vs RPS match played on 17th April, and KKR won in the SRH vs KKR match played on 16th April] and rightly so; perhaps KKR could have given an opportunity to the young (not) left arm chinaman from Australia, Brad Hogg. Whereas, KXIP could have tried out Johnson considering Abbott went for 38 in his 4 overs against Pune, he did however manage to scalp Kevin Petersen which probably resulted in him getting another go for KXIP.

KXIP had a shaky start

Unlike their last match, KXIP couldn’t find another successful start to their innings as Vohra departed early for 8 and Vijay too didn’t go on to play a big innings as he went cheaply for 26, Saha too departed without troubling the scorers for 8.

Miller’s wicket meant KXIP was in trouble

KXIP captain Miller had immense pressure on his shoulders, looking visibly out of form since the last few months; he definitely needed an innings to give him the much needed confidence to hit those ‘humongous sixes’ over the mid-on – something that has become a trait of his batting but today wasn’t to be his day either. Miller’s departure from the crease meant that KXIP found itself in tatters at 78/4.

The wickets kept falling, and KXIP closed at a meagre 138 / 8

Things went from bad to worse as the hard-hitting Aussie batsman; Glenn Maxwell went for a cheeky reverse sweep, resulting in a straightforward catch to Piyush Chawla. In a match where KXIP’s batsmen hadn’t shown signs of resistance at the pitch, expecting anything from the batsmen lower down the batting order would’ve been unfair and so was the case; wickets were falling from the other end and hadn’t it been for Marsh’s cool and collective 56* off 41 and the expensive last over from Morkel (2 sixes), KXIP wouldn’t have got to a score of 138/8.

Uthappa’s sweet half ton in 24 balls

KKR in their reply got off to an aggressive start, smashing 44 in just 4 overs. Uthappa in his usual style wasted no time at the pitch and was looking to play his natural array of strokes from ball one, completing his 50 off just 24 balls. Gambhir was relatively quiet on the other end; rotating the strike and keeping the scoreboard ticking. This innings also put Gambhir first in the orange cap list, something that’s surely noteworthy for Gambhir’s fans out there.

KKR kept up a steady flow of runs

The chase was looking relatively easy and the situation demanded something really special from the KXIP to put breaks on the easy flow of runs. It wasn’t to be though.

Given nevertheless is that KXIP show some sort of fight by grabbing 4 wickets but the strong opening stand between Uthappa and Gambhir had already resulted in the run rate going below 6.00 to the over. A plumb in front resulted in Uthappa’s departure and an absolute blinder of a catch from Maxwell meant that Gambhir had to depart after a composed 34.

Uthappa’s 53 off 28 and Gambhir’s 34 off 34 was still enough for KKR to seize a comfortable victory, in spite of losing 4 wickets; they won with 17 balls to spare.

Kolkata Knight Riders win with a score of 141/4 in 17.1 overs

By virtue of this win, Kolkata Knight Riders are table-toppers with 3 wins off their 4 games, Rajkot follows them at second with 3 wins in their 3 games but KKR’s run rate puts them just ahead of them.

Pre-Match predictions were as follows

Predicted XI

Kings XI Punjab

David Miller (C), Murali Vijay, Manan Vohra, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Mitchell Johnson, Mohit Sharma, Shardul Thakur and Sandeep Sharma.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Manish Pandey, Andre Russell, Yusuf Pathan, Colin Munro, Piyush Chawla, Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel, Jaydev Unadkat.

The Kings XI Punjab are a franchise cricket team based in Mohali, Punjab, that plays in the Indian Premier League. The Kolkata Knight Riders are a franchise cricket team representing the city of Kolkata in the Indian Premier League. The franchise is owned by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan in partnership with actress Juhi Chawla and her spouse Jay Mehta. The two teams played in the 13th match of IPL 9 on 19th April 2016 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. KKR won the match.

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