In the 45th match of the VIVO IPL 2021, Punjab Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets. KL Rahul’s responsible knock in the run chase helped PBKS to stay alive in the playoffs qualifying race.
Punjab Kings won the toss and chose to field. Even though PBKS got an early breakthrough, Kolkata Knight Riders still managed to get off to a good start. The Punjab-based franchise made a comeback in the death overs and restricted the Knights Riders to a reasonable total of 165. PBKS had an incredible start in the run chase as Mayank Agarwal (40) and KL Rahul (67) was finding it easy to frequently hit boundaries in the powerplay. The openers stitched 70 runs for the first wicket before Agarwal smashed the ball straight to Eoin Morgan who was standing in the circle. Nicholas Pooran (12) couldn’t contribute much with the bat as he fell prey to Varun Chakravarthy in the 11th over. Rahul and Aiden Markram (18) had a small partnership of 45 runs in the middle-overs which kept the scoreboard ticking. Markram was hitting the ball very well but while trying to clear the boundary on the off-side, he was caught by Shubman Gill. Deepak Hooda also lost his wicket in the following over as the all-rounder couldn’t clear the mid-wicket boundary. While the wickets were falling at the other end, Rahul kept the scoreboard ticking through his sensible batting. Shahrukh Khan (22*) joined the PBKS-skipper in the middle, without wasting much time he started playing attacking shots. Before the game concluded, there was a small twist as the well-set Rahul was dismissed on the second ball of the last over. In the following delivery, Khan smashed a six at the mid-wicket region and got his team home by five wickets.
Venkatesh Iyer (67) and Rahul Tripathi (34) were the highest scorers for KKR. They had a convincing start in the first innings but couldn’t manage to finish well.
Arshdeep Singh was the pick among the bowlers for PBKS as he pocketed three wickets while Ravi Bishnoi got two and Mohammed Shami got one wicket to his name. On the other hand, Chakravarthy got two scalps while Iyer, Sunil Narine and Shivam Mavi got one each.
Following this fixture, KKR and PBKS have acquired the fourth and fifth spot respectively with 10 points each. Rahul was adjudged Man of the Match for his 67, his innings decorated with four boundaries and two sixes.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 165/7, Overs 20, Venkatesh Iyer (67), Rahul Tripathi (34), Arshdeep Singh (3/32)
Punjab Kings: 168/5, Overs 19.3, KL Rahul (67), Mayank Agarwal (40), Varun Chakravarthy (2/24)