Kolkata Knight Riders were off in a jiffy as soon as they were invited to bat by Punjab Kings Captain K L Rahul.
Although Shubman Gill was dismissed in the third over, Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi launched KKR’s fightback.
They were particularly severe on Nathan Ellis and in the 6th over, hammered 11 runs to have the scoreboard read 48 for 1 after the Powerplay.
Both batsmen played balanced innings — they not only looked for the big hits but made the singles and twos count as well.
Once Rahul brought on his trump card in Ravi Bishnoi, things began to unravel for KKR.
Bishnoi had given only 11 runs off his first two overs and was looking ominous for KRR.
The leggie struck the first blow in his third over — he smartly bowled a delivery that hung in the air for a while, inviting Tripathi to go after it. Tripathi mistimed the slog sweep and was out for 34.
This started KKR’s slide. While Nitish Rana and Iyer looked like they were finding an understanding among each other and hitting the big runs, Bishnoi struck again, this time taking out Iyer who slog swept the googly straight into the hands of the fielder in the deep.
After Eoin Morgan was out LBW to Mohammed Shami, Rana tried to up the ante, but all he had was an over-and-a-half to hit two sixes and a boundary before he tried to go after Arshdeep Singh only to find the fielder in the deep in the 18th over.
The last two overs fetched KKR only 14 runs for two wickets.
Taking wickets consistently, even while giving away a few big runs, Punjab tightened the noose around the KKR batters. There wasn’t much intent once Rana was dismissed, and Punjab totally turned things around in the latter half of the match.
Punjab’s bowlers didn’t allow the KKR batters to come back into the contest, turning the innnngs and eventually the match in their favour.
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