A dramatic battle between KXIP Punjab and Kolkata Knight Rider(KKR). KKR beat KXIP Punjab by 2 runs in Indian Premier League at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

KXIP new ball bowlers Shami and Arshdeep Singh, who bowled stingy lines and made them a lot of trouble. Shami cleaned up Rahul Tripathi to give Kings XI Punjab the first breakthrough.

KKR conceded another major crack as a mix-up in the very next over sent Nitish Rana packing after both him and Shubman Gill ended up at the same end. Young medium pacer Arshdeep Singh was the most economical among the lot, conceding just two runs in his two-over spell in the first six overs. Eoin Morgan promoted up the batting order, combined with Gill to sew a small partnership. Just when things were looking good for them, Ravi Bishnoi got rid of Morgan to hand KKR a major blow.

Shubman Gill and Dinesh Karthik stitched a solid partnership as Kolkata Knight Riders eyed rope finish against King XI Punjab.

Dinesh Karthik, facing criticism for both his captaincy and his batting, closed his critics with an initial knock of 58 off 29 balls.

KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal continued on their cheerful way denting up the second 100-run stand between them. The two batted with most ease post Powerplay extracting the KKR bowlers for singles and doubles. There were only six dot balls between the seventh and the 15th over until Mayank got out at 56 runs off 39 balls and Nicholas Pooran joins the party but out in 16 runs off 10 balls, Simran Singh (wk) 4 runs off 7 balls, Mandeep Singh 0 run off 1 ball, Glenn Maxwell 10* and Chris Jordan 0* could not reach the target and lost by 2 runs.

KL Rahul | KXIP (losing) captain: We started well, we got close, but honestly I have no answers. Just have to keep coming hard in the next seven and win a few. We bowled well, it’s the first game on this new strip, but the bowlers adapted well by swinging the ball early and getting wickets in the powerplay, which is the only way to keep them below 180. Even in the death they did well to mix it up, trying to bowl bouncers and bluff the batsmen with wide yorkers. That’s what we asked of them and they executed well. We weren’t satisfied at any stage during the run-chase, you’re only satisfied when you win. Me and Mayank started off well, but if you lose wickets in clusters at the end, it’s hard to get over the line.

Dinesh Karthik | KKR (winning) captain | Man of the Match: McCullum is encouraging me to bat higher, though I always feel I bat better somewhere in the middle. We have had these conversations, but at the end I give him the credit for keeping me in a place where I can contribute to the team’s success. Whenever Russell gets injured, my heart is always in my mouth because he is a very key player for us. We need to look up at him and make sure he’s okay. Krishna is special, and is close to a spot for the India white-ball team. He has to make some adjustments but the way he bowled in the second spell shows why he is one of the better bowlers in India. I think Narine stands up for us all the time, he’s always looking out for the team. A lot of credit goes to Morgan for having the world’s best captain around. He keeps things very positive. As for the Maxwell shot, I was hoping it would land just short, and that’s exactly what ended up happening. Not easy to hit a shot over cover under pressure. But credit to the bowlers for finishing it really well with the ball.

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