In a rain-hit afternoon encounter of the Indian Premier League, Punjab Kings secured a crucial victory over Kolkata Knight Riders with a seven-run margin via Duckworth-Lewis method. The star of the match was Sam Curran, Punjab Kings’ costliest recruit, who dismissed the dangerous Andre Russell just at the nick of time to turn the tide in his team’s favor.
Chasing a target of 192, KKR was left stranded at 146 for 7 after 16 overs when heavy downpour disrupted their hard work. The DLS par score at that time was 153. The two wickets in the 15th and 16th over proved to be decisive as KKR needed 46 off 24 balls at that stage. Shardul Thakur (8 not out) and Sunil Narine (7 not out) were at the crease, but KKR just did not have enough firepower in them on the day.
The burly West Indian Russell had ignited KKR’s hopes of a turnaround with three fours and two sixes, while Venkatesh Iyer made the first real impact with his 28-ball knock that had three fours and a six. However, Russell’s dismissal by Curran and Iyer’s dismissal by Arshdeep Singh proved to be turning points in the match.
Earlier in the first half, Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s quickfire 50 guided Punjab Kings to a challenging 191 for five against Kolkata Knight Riders. Rajapaksa added 86 runs for the second wicket with captain Shikhar Dhawan (40) to lay a strong platform, with Sam Curran (26 not out) providing a late flurry on a batting-friendly wicket.
Despite KKR managing to pull things back in control with regular wickets after a sturdy 86-run association between Rajapaksa and Dhawan, Punjab Kings dominated the first half of the innings with aggressive batting. Jitesh Sharma hit a couple of sixes to score a quickfire 21 from 11 balls, while Raza scored 16 from 13 balls with a six and a four each.
The start of the second innings was delayed by about 30 minutes owing to the malfunctioning of the six floodlights installed here at the PCA Stadium. However, Punjab Kings emerged victorious in a rain-affected match thanks to some brilliant bowling by Arshdeep Singh and the timely dismissals of Russell and Iyer.