Rain came as an uninvited guest, killing an engrossing contest and handing hosts Punjab Kings a seven-run win (DRS method) over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League at the IS Bindra Stadium here on Saturday.
Chasing 192, the Knight Riders came back to make a final assault on the target when heavy rain stopped play at the end of the 16th over. The Knight Riders, who were 146 for seven at stoppage time, were seven runs short of the DLS par score.
After Arshdeep Singh dealt an early blow, Andre Russell (35) and impact player Venkatesh Iyer (34) revived a hopeless chase with a quickfire 50-run partnership for the sixth wicket, but both batsmen lost their wickets in quick succession. Knight Riders had to pay. ‘ Hopes.
In the end, a delay of 23 minutes due to a malfunction of the light towers at the start dogged the Knight Riders.
Earlier, Punjab Kings got off to a brisk start and opener Prabhsimran Singh grabbed the initial momentum by hitting Umesh Yadav for a six over square leg. Tim Southee’s wrong line was also punished as Prabhsimran hit a couple of fours and hit a six in the same over before being caught by wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
The carnage continued as Bhanuka Rajapaksa proceeded to hit Sunil Narine for two fours and a six in the leg-spinner’s first over in the powerplay, thrice. While Shikhar Dhawan dropped the anchor, Bhanuka attacked the bowling and Shardul Thakur bore the brunt of his tremendous strokeplay.
The Sri Lankan completed his 50 off 30 balls before being dismissed at long-on by Umesh Yadav.
Varun Chakravarthy’s vigorous spell in the second half of the innings, during which he clean bowled Dhawan (40), slowed down the scoring. But late flourishes from Sam Curran (21 not out) and Shah Rukh Khan (11 not out) provided the Kings with what proved to be a match-winning total.