Riding on the gutsy knock from Shubman Gill (47) and a counterattacking show by skipper Dinesh Karthik (53), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) managed to give a competitive tota to Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the 24th match of IPL 2020 underway in Abu Dhabi.
Opting to bat first didn’t look like a pleasing decision for KKR as they lost the opener Rahul Tripathi (6) and southpaw Nitish Rana (2) in the first four overs to Mohammed Shami and a run-out involving Shami and Pooran respectively.
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However, an experienced Eoin Morgan then took control of the situation and along with Shubman Gill (57, 47b) stamped a 49-run stand for the third wicket. While the scoring rate was nowhere close to a competitive total, the duo managed to get the team to 60 run mark by the end of 10th over.
Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, who was blowing in tandem with fellow spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman, lured Morgan (24) into going for a lofted shot straight into the hands of Glenn Maxwell at long-on.
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KKR was clearly short of runs and needed a blistering knock from skipper Dinesh Karthik who promoted himself above Andre Russell. Karthik was keeping the scorecard ticking the first six balls but unleashed an assault onto the KXIP bowlers striking a majestic hit off the final delivery of Mujeeb Ur Rahman onto long-on.
The duo of Gill and Karthik added a match-turning 82 runs to the total and while the former was busy in strike rotation and his occasional boundaries, the latter, on the other hand, was finding ways to get past the fence.
Fourteen runs came off the 16th over of the game with Karthik smashing 3 fours to pacer Arshdeep Singh and elevating the team’s total to 115/3. This was immediately followed by an 18 and 13 run overs from Chris Jordan and Mohammed Shami respectively.
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Karthik, who eventually struck 29-ball 53 (8 fours, 2 sixes) before being dismissed run-out in the last ball of the innings, played a massive role behind KKR reaching a defendable mark versus KXIP.
Among KXIP bowlers, left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh was weaving magic with his deliveries and ended with figures of 4-1-25-1. Mohammed Shami (1/30) was a bit expensive in the final over, conceding 13 runs, but managed to get the crucial wicket of Andre Russell.
Mujeeb Ur Raman (0/44) and Chris Jordan (0/37) were denied any wicket while Ravi Bishnoi was once again at his economical best, scalping 1/25 in his four overs of play.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the explosive knocks from Dinesh Karthik and Shubman Gill –