The Kolkata Knight Riders kept their playoff hopes alive as they beat the Kings XI Punjab by 31 runs after half-centuries from Sunil Narine and Dinesh Karthik saw them post 245-6.
The Knight Riders scored their highest ever IPL score and the highest score of the campaign.
Although Narine’s 36-ball 75 and Karthik’s first half-century formed the bulk of KKR’s innings, they were also supported by quick cameos. Chris Lynn started well, scoring 27 off 17 balls, with two fours and two sixes, taking the hosts past 50 before losing his wicket.
Narine then turned on the heat and smashed nine fours and four maximums to take KKR to 128 before he became Andrew Tye’s second victim. KKR added one run before Tye dismissed Robin Uthappa as KKR were on 129-3 by the 12th over.
KKR skipper Karthik then strung together a quick 31-ball 76 with Andrew Russell. The Windies big-hitter hit three sixes and two fours for his 14-ball 31 but he was also dismissed by Tye – who finished with figures of 4-41 – as KKR crept past 200.
Karthik lost Nitish Rana on 11 but managed to take his side to 230 before he was dismissed after scoring 50 off 23 balls. A final burst from Shubman Gill and Javon Searles pushed KKR to 245-6.
KXIP’s chase started off well as they climbed to 57, but Chris Gayle’s wicket sparked a collapse as Lokesh Rahul battled to keep his side’s innings alive. Rahul lost two other partners as he racked up 66 off 29 balls before he lost his wicket with KXIP on 94.
Newly appointed Australia T20 skipper Aaron Finch (34) and KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin (41 off 21 balls) were the Kings’ next best scorers as they posted 214-8.
Russell contributed with the ball too, finishing with figures of 3-41.
The victory takes the Knight Riders into the top four with 12 points, equal to Kings XI, who have a game in hand.
Photo by: Vipin Pawar /SPORTZPICS for BCCI