“Life is just a game of inches, so is football.” This line from Al Pacino’s famous speech can be applied to any sport. With 7 needed off last ball, Maxwell launched Narine over extra cover and it fell an inch before the boundary cushions and that inch handed over KKR an unexpected win. Chasing a modest target of 165, Punjab openers Rahul and Mayank had a century partnership. KXIP were in driving seat for most part of the innings and their victory appeared eventual.
But as Rahul has been found guilty of in previous matches too, this time also his innings was not as flamboyant as his innings had only 6 fours. Both Rahul and Mayank got to their individual fifties and steadily they were cruising towards the victory keeping required rate is check but never got better of it. After a long partnership, one of the batsmen must finish the game as it is not easy for new batsman to start scoring from the word go. But this did not happen for Punjab as they lost Mayank in the 15th over and Rahul at even more crucial juncture- the 19th over. Prasidh Krishna, the wrecker-in-chief for KKR got both the wickets. Even after the fall of Mayank’s wicket, Pooran batted quite well as he got two boundaries and a six off first 7 balls that he faced.
Narine, Prasidh pull off a heist
In the last 3 overs KKR needed just 22 runs with 9 wickets in hand. 9 out of 10 times the chasing side should win it from here but this was the 10th case. First Narine bowled a 2-run over in which he dismissed Pooran (16) and the new man in Prabhsimran played 3 dots. Prasidh Krishna, playing his first match of the season, bowled even a better penultimate over that costed 6 runs but had two important scalps. First he got Singh with the short ball that is cut in the air for Rana to complete the catch. Then he got the well settled Rahul, 74 off 58, who played on a full ball to his stumps. With 14 required off last over, Karthik put his trust on Narine for defense. Maxwell got 7 off first four balls including a switch hit four. Mandeep’s wicket fell on the 5th ball as he could not clear the mid wicket. With 7 needed off last, Maxwell got a boundary over extra cover that bounced millimeters in front of the rope as KKR won it by 2 runs. Narine got his team the victory but was later reported for the suspect action.
Earlier KKR won the toss and decided to bat first. Rahul went early as SHami after pushing him back with short balls, bowled a fuller one that shaped in to castle his stumps. Rana was run out too owing to a misunderstanding with Gill. KKR got only 25 runs in the powerplay. KXIP kept on the pressure even after the powerplay. It was only after the arrival of Karthik that the KKR got some quick runs. Karthik played some delightful strokes, especially the lofts over extra cover were quite elegant. He got everything out of the middle of his bat as he got to his fifty off 22 balls with 7 boundaries and 2 sixes. The 82-run partnership between him and Gill ended with Gill’s runout for a 47-ball 57. Russell(5) was caught behind off Arshdeep Singh, who rightfully got the reward for his good bowling throughout. Before getting run out off last ball, Karthik made 58 and took his team to a competitive score of 164/6 which at the end was just enough for a 2 run victory.