Mohali, May 3 (UNI) Though Kolkata Knight Riders lost to Kings XI Punjab by nine runs they were not disgraced in the 22nd match of the DLF Indian Premier League at the jam-packed Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here tonight.
The close and razor-sharp fight was made possible due to a stubborn 104-run partnership for the sixth wicket between David Hussey (71, 4x4s, 4x6s) and Wriddhiman Saha (not out 59, 2x4s, 4x6s) for the sixth wicket.
Chasing a target of 179 runs for victory in a nail-biting encounter, Kolkata Knight Riders were precariously placed at 50 for 6 after 9.4 overs.
Openers Mohd Hafeez (13), captain and opener Saurav Ganguly(5), Debabarta Das (5), Brad Hodge (1) and Lakshmi Ratan Shukla(7) were quickly back in the pavilion.
David Hussey and wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha (not out 59) flayed the Kings XI Punjab bowlers. Hussey hit the Kings XI bowlers all over the wicket to score runs fluently.
This partnership was broken by medium pacer Gagandeep Singh who had Hussey caught by James Hopes with the fifth ball of the 19th over. With Ajit Agarkar (not out 1) joining well set Saha, Kolkata Knight Riders required 19 runs from the last over bowled by Irfan Pathan. They, however, fell short of nine runs.
It was fourth successive win for Kings XI Punjab from six matches.
They have logged eight points. For Kolkata Knight Riders suffered their fourth defeat.
It was Sreesanth (2 for 25) who gave Kings XI Punjab the breakthrough as he dismissed Ganguly for 5 and teams total 22. One run later, Irfan Pathan (2 for 18) bowled Mohd Hafeez (13). With three more Kolkata batsmen returning to the pavilion without any significant contribution, Hussey and Saha held the fort well.
Executing their strokes with power they put their team back into the game. They enthralled the spectators by raining fours and sixes before Hussey departed. And with his exit, Kolkata Riders' fate was virtually sealed. Piyush Chawla conceded 16 runs in one over he bowled.
Earlier, watched by a packed house, Piyush Chawla smashed Ishan Sharma for 20 runs in the last over as Kings XI Punjab piled up 178 for 6. In the last over, Ishan bowled to Irfan Pathan (24 not out) for one leg bye. Then Chawla took control of the proceedings. He was in full flow as he hit the Kolkata Rider's fast bowler Ishan Sharma for three fours, one six at extra cover and a two. The sequence was 1, 4, 4, 2, 4, 6. Chawla remained not out on 21.
Earlier, Umar Gul bowled a good spell to dismiss Sri Lankans Kumar Sangakkara (28, 5x4s) and Mahela Jaywardene (10) and gave just 27 runs from four overs.
Kings XI Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh won the toss and elected to bat. Australian Simon Marsh (40, 5x4s, 1x6) and Jamesh Hopes opened the innings. They realised 28 runs before Hopes was caught by Hodge of Ashoke Dinda for 18 runs. Sangakkara, Marsh and Yuvraj Singh carried the total to 82, with a partnership of 54 runs for the second wicket among them. Injured Sangakkara batted with a runner James Hopes. He was hit on the shoulder by a Ashoke Dinda's delivery.
Sangkkara retired at 49 for 1 but came back after the fall of Karan Goel's wicket (106 for 6). Yuvraj Singh (17, 2x4s, 1x6) was run out by Saha.
SCOREBOARD Kings XI Punjab: Simon Marsh st Saha b Hussey 40 James Hopes c Brad Hodge b Ashoke Dinda 18 Kumar Sangakkara b Gul 28 Yuvraj Singh round out (Saha) 17 Mahela Jayawardene c Ganguly bt Gul 10 Karan Goel run out (Das) 6 Irfan Pathan not out 24 Piyush Chawla not out 21.
Extras (nb 1, lb 5, w 4, b 4) 14.
Total (for 6 wickets) 178.
Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-82, 3-98, 4-102, 5-106, 6-155.
Bowling: Ishan Malhotra 4-0-41-0 Ajit Agarkar 3-0-26-0 Ashoke Dinda 3-024-1 Mohd Hafeez 3-0-28-0 David Hussey 3-0-23-1 Umar Gul 4-0-27-2.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Mohd Hafeez b Irfan Pathan 13 Saurav Ganguly c Pathan b Sreesanth 5 D Das c Yuvraj b Sreesanth 5 Brad Hodge lbw Pathan 1 David Hussey c Hopes b Gagan 71 LR Shukla b VRV Singh 7 WP Saha not out 59 Ajit Agarkar not out 1.
Extras (w 6, b 1) 7.
Total (for 6 wickets in 20 overs) 169.
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-23, 3-25, 4-29, 5-50, 6-154.
Bowling: Sreesanth 4-0-25-2 Irfan Pathan 4-0-18-2 VRV Singhh 4-0-31-1 James Hopes 3-0-35-0 Piyush Chawla 1-0-16-0.
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