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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Rinku, Russel do it again for KKR, get crucial win


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Kolkata: Rinku Singh did what he does the best as he sent the Eden Gardens into a frenzy by providing yet another sensational finish with a four off the last ball to win a thriller for Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 53 of TATA IPL 2023 in Kolkata.

A collective batting effort from Kolkata saw Nitish Rana lead from the front with a crucial knock of 51(38) before Andre Russell (42 off 23) and Rinku Singh (21* off 10) provided the final flourish to win the fifth match of the season for Kolkata.. Earlier, a composed knock of 57(47) from captain Shikhar Dhawan, coupled with blistering cameos from Shahrukh Khan (21* off 8) and Harpreet Brar (17* off 9) propelled Punjab Kings to a competitive 179/7.

Chasing 180, KKR’s Impact Player Jason Roy provided a fast start, hitting three fours in the first three overs. Rahmanullah Gurbaz then got into the act as he smacked one over deep square leg for a six and drove one down the ground for a four off Arshdeep Singh before Roy thumped one over extra cover for another four to make it 16 runs off the over. Dhawan then brought on Impact Player Nathan Ellis into the attack and he provided the first breakthrough by trapping Gurbaz (15 off 12) LBW. The batsman reviewed it but the ball tracker showed all three reds.

Roy though continued his attacking ways, hitting three fours off Sam Curran to take the score to 52/1 at the end of the Powerplay. Roy thumped a couple of fours off Liam Livingstone. Dhawan then handed over the ball to Harpreet Brar and he got the big wicket by having Roy (38 off 24) caught at deep mid-wicket, off just the second ball of his spell. Punjab kept things tight as Kolkata reached 76/2 at the halfway stage but the required run rate had gone past 10. The need for urgency was realised by captain Rana who went on the attack against Livingstone to hit him for a couple of fours and a six and make it 16 runs in the over.

After a quiet Chahar over, Rana hit a couple of fours off Curran and then cracked a four off Chahar as well in the next over to bring up the 50-run stand with Venkatesh Iyer. Chahar though broke the partnership in the same over as he had Iyer (11 off 13) caught at long off, off a googly to dent Kolkata. Rana then brought up his fifty off 37 balls but he departed off the next ball as he miscued his reverse sweep wide of long off where Livingstone pouched a very good running catch. Chahar bowled a fantastic over, giving way just 7 and sending back Rana. With 51 needed off 24, Russell cracked a four and Rinku Singh heaved one over deep square leg for a six to take 15 runs off the Ellis over and bring the equation down to 36 needed off 18.

The pair hit a four each off the Arshdeep over to take 10 off it as the equation came to 26 needed off 12.

Rinku Singh took a single off the first ball of the penultimate over from Curran and then Russell turned tables with three sixes from four balls, two over deep square leg and one over point, to bring the equation down to 6 needed off the last over.

Dhawan tossed the ball to Arshdeep to bowl the last over. The left-arm pacer started off well giving away just two runs off the first three balls. Russell then lofted one over extra cover for a couple. With 2 needed off 2, there was another twist in the roller-coaster story as Russell was run out trying to run through for a bye. Arshdeep bowled a superb yorker outside off which Russell failed to dig and the keeper threw the ball to Arshdeep who knocked down the stumps at the non-striker’s end as the batsmen scampered through for a bye. Russell was found short on the replays. Rinku Singh then did Rinku Singh things as he swiped the last ball, a full toss, wide of fine leg for a four to win it for Kolkata and spark wild celebrations.

Earlier, Punjab Kings captain Shikhar Dhawan won the toss and elected to bat. They made one change to the starting XI as Bhanuka Rajapaksa replaced Matthew Short. Nathan Ellis, Sikandar Raza, Atharva Taide, Mohit Rathee and Matthew Short made it to the away team’s substitutes list.

Kolkata Knight Riders made one change to the starting eleven as Suyash Sharma replaced Jason Roy. They named Anukul Roy, N Jagadeesan, Jason Roy, Lockie Ferguson and Kulwant Khejroliya as their substitutes.

Punjab got off to a mixed start as they hit a flurry of boundaries but lost two wickets in the process inside the Powerplay. Prabhsimran Singh started off aggressively straightaway as he cracked three fours in the first over from Vaibhav Arora. He unfurled a couple of well timed flicks and then guided one through point to get going straight away.

Shikhar Dhawan too got off the mark in style smacking one through covers for four off Harshit Rana. Two balls later he slashed one over backward point for the second four of the over. Rana though bounced back to dismiss Prabhsimran (12 off 8) off the last ball of the over as he had him caught behind via a juggling catch from Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Rana was in action again as he had Bhanuka Rajapaksa (0 off 3) caught behind trying to go for an expansive shot. Harshit Rana gave just six runs in the over. But Livingstone then went on the attack and smacked three fours in a row off Russell. Dhawan ended the over with another four, off a top edge to fine leg, as Punjab brought up their 50 in just the fifth over.

The in-form Chakaravarthy arrived and struck straight away as he trapped Livingstone LBW off a leg spinner which squared up the batsman who reviewed it but the ball-tracker showed wickets was umpire’s call. The onfield decision stayed as Livingstone walked back for 15(9). Dhawan swept the last ball of the over for four to take Punjab to 58/3 at the end of the Powerplay.

Things slowed down a little bit as Dhawan and Jitesh Sharma steadied the ship and took Punjab to 82/3 at the halfway mark.

The duo then upped the scoring, hitting a six and a four off Suyash Sharma to take 11 off the over. Dhawan then cracked consecutive fours off Sunil Narine to bring up the 50-run stand from 38 balls.

Rana needed a wicket and brought back Varun Chakaravarthy who answered his captain’s call as he had Jitesh Sharma caught behind via another fantastic catch from Gurbaz. Dhawan then brought up his third fifty of IPL 2023 with a six over deep square leg, off Narine. Captain Rana then brought himself into the attack and got the big wicket of Dhawan (57 off 47) who mistimed his loft too long on. Punjab lost their way a little bit.

Rishi Dhawan came out with an attacking intent and hit a four and a six but departed trying to accelerate as he missed his slog sweep and was cleaned up by Chakaravarthy who finished with excellent figures of 4-0-26-3.

Sam Curran (4 off 9) came and departed as he top edged his slog sweep into the safe hands of Gurbaz. Harpreet Brar (17* off 9) and Shahrukh Khan (21* off 8) then provided a much-needed late surge as they hit three fours off Arora in the 19th over and went berserk against Harshit Rana, hammering two sixes and two fours make it 36 in the last two overs and propel Punjab to 179/7.

Kolakata brought on Jason Roy as their Impact Player, replacing Suyash Sharma and Punjab introduced Nathan Ellis as their Impact Player, in place of Bhanuka Rajapaksa at the start of the second innings.

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