Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The Kings XI Punjab registered a 23-run win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in a low-scoring encounter in Abu Dhabi.
Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir would have been pleased with his decision to bowl first as Punjab opener Cheteshwar Pujara was run out by Manish Pandey for eight runs.
Wriddhiman Saha only made 14 before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Jacques Kallis.
Glenn Maxwell scored 15 runs before he was clean bowled by Morne Morkel.
David Miller fared no better as he was caught by Morkel at long-on off the bowling of Piyush Chawla for 14.
Punjab captain George Bailey failed to save his team as he was also caught by Morkel off the bowling of Chawla, but only for 11 runs.
Chawla struck again just two balls later when he clean bowled Virender Sehwag for 37.
Akshar Patel only scored seven runs before he was stumped by Robin Uthappa off the bowling of Sunil Narine.
Narine cleaned up Mitchell Johnson the very next delivery, but failed to get his hat-trick.
However, Narine was rewarded with a wicket the ball after his hat-trick delivery when he trapped Lakshmipathy Balaji lbw for a duck.
Punjab eventually finished on 132/9 off their 20 overs thanks to Rishi Dhawan’s unbeaten knock of 19.
Narine and Chawla picked up three wickets apiece, while Morkel and Kallis chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 133 to win, Kolkata got off to an awful start as they lost their top three batsmen for 19 runs.
Chris Lynn scored 13 runs before he was clean bowled by Patel.
Yusuf Pathan only made three runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Dhawan.
Uthappa managed to make 19 runs before he was run out by Bailey.
Chawla failed to trouble the scorers as he was stumped by Saha off the bowling of Patel.
Narine made six runs before he was clean bowled by Johnson.
Suryakumar Yadav was the standout performer with the bat for Kolkata as he smashed 34 off 17 balls, which included three boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Johnson at cover off the bowling of Sandeep Sharma.
Kolkata were bowled out for 109 when Umesh Yadav was cleaned up by Johnson for a two runs.
Sharma was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Johnson and Patel snapped up two wickets apiece and Balaji and Dhawan claimed one wicket each.
Gambhir was disappointed that his team failed to chase down 133, and said: “The bowlers did a fantastic job, but we should have chased it down. It was chasable with the kind of dew on the ground. Morne is an aggressive bowler and so far he’s been brilliant. Surya looks a very talented cricketer and he’ll get many more opportunities and at a better number.”
Bailey was relieved to have won the match, and said: “Bowlers were outstanding. Probably left 20 or 30 short on a tough wicket but we knew we had a chance if we took early wickets. It’s hard to weigh it, but we probably got it wrong. We left too much to do for the tailenders. Needed me or Viru or Miller to stay there. It’s good to see Sandeep develop, he’s got great confidence in what he wants to do which makes my job easier.”
Sharma was named Man of the Match, and said: “It’s a big moment for me, I’m enjoying it a lot and expressing myself. When I’m playing I’m very serious, outside the rope I’m very funny. With the new ball, I swing it really well and I want the new ball and I’m happy [with] the faith shown in me.”