Kolkata, May 9: Andre Russell (51 in 21 balls), Yusuf Pathan (29 from 19 balls) and Piyush Chawla's 11-ball 18 propelled Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table as they beat Kings XI Punjab by one wicket and a ball to spare here on Wednesday.
The Knights have 15 points from 12 games while the Kings are still at the bottom of the standings with only two wins from 11 contests.
In answer to KXIP's 183/5, KKR finished with 184/9 with Russell top scoring with 51 from 21 balls. Anureet Singh and Gurkeerat Singh Mann picked two wickets each for the losers.
The Knights were off to a flyer with Robin Uthappa (17) and skipper Gautam Gambhir making easy weather of the opposition pacers.
Even though Uthappa got out, the fourth and the fifth over produced 30 runs for the men in purple with 50 coming up in just 4.5 overs.
However, the spinners in the form of Gurkeerat and Glenn Maxwell were able to put the brakes on the run rate by clinching two quick wickets of Manish Pandey and Gambhir.
The latter tamely lofted one to long on as the hosts slumped to 76/3 in 10 overs. Suryakumar Yadav soon fell for nine in the next over.
When all looked gloomy for the home team, the 60,000 strong crowd at the ground still had their hopes pinned on the pair of Pathan and Russell who were looking to rebuild the innings.
KKR went past the 100-run mark at the end of the 12th over. The duo then smashed Axar Patel for 24 runs in the 14th over which included three massive sixes into the stands.
After a partnership of 53 runs off just 25 deliveries, Pathan (29; 19b 1x4 3x6) fell, edging one to the wicket-keeper while trying to lift it over third man.
Russell continued clobbering the Kings XI bowlers but then maged to nick one to Wriddhiman Saha; by then however, KKR were close to the shore.
Earlier, the home side was sloppy on the field from the start with Murali Vijay being the beneficiary as three of his catches were spilled. But his innings filly ended as rine castled him soon after.
There were two more chances that went down as Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha knit together a useful partnership with the score reading 75/1 at the halfway stage.
However, rine was quick to dismiss Vohra (39;34b, 1x4 3x6) just as he held on to a return catch.
Maxwell and Saha then upped the ante as they belted the Knights' spinners for 35 runs in two overs. rine came to Kolkata's rescue once again, sending both Maxwell (43; 22b, 4x4 3x6) and Saha (33; 25b, 0x4 2x6) back into the dug-out in the 17th over.
The hosts pulled things back thereafter but a late surge from Miller ensured they posted a formidable total. IANS
Kings XI Punjab:
M Vijay b rine 28, M Vohra c & b rine 39, WP Saha† b rine 33, GJ Maxwell c Botha b rine 43, DA Miller not out 27, Gurkeerat Singh c & b Russell 4, GJ Bailey* not out 0
Extras (b 1, lb 3, w 5) 9; Total(5 wickets; 20 overs) 183 Fall of wickets 1-45, 2-78, 3-143, 4-149, 5-169
Bowling: UT Yadav 4 0 36 0, AD Russell 4 0 50 1, SP rine 4 0 19 4, J Botha 1 0 9 0, GB Hogg 4 0 30 0, PP Chawla 3 0 35 0
Kolkata Knight Riders:
RV Uthappa† c Patel b Anureet Singh 17, G Gambhir* c Vijay b Gurkeerat Singh 24, MK Pandey c Patel b Maxwell 22, SA Yadav b Gurkeerat Singh 9, YK Pathan c †Saha b Hendricks 29, AD Russell c †Saha b Patel 51, J Botha run out (Patel) 2, PP Chawla c †Saha b Anureet Singh 18, GB Hogg run out (Anureet Singh) 5, UT Yadav not out 0, SP rine not out 0
Extras (lb 3, w 4) 7; Total (9 wickets; 19.5 overs) 184
Fall of wickets 1-31, 2-63, 3-69, 4-83, 5-136, 6-159, 7-161, 8-177, 9-183
Bowling: Sandeep Sharma 4 0 35 0, BE Hendricks 4 0 35 1, Anureet Singh 3.5 0 56 2, AR Patel 4 0 33 1, Gurkeerat Singh 3 0 17 2, GJ Maxwell 1 0 5 1