Kolkata ends 4-match IPL losing streak by beating Punjab
AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — Kolkata Knight Riders carved out a convincing five-wicket win over Punjab Kings to end their four-match losing streak in the Indian Premier League on Monday.
After losing successive games at Mumbai and Chennai, Kolkata’s move to Ahmedabad saw them produce a dominant display and jump to fifth with a second win in six games.
Punjab was strangled for 123-9 against the pace and spin of Kolkata, led by Prasidh Krishna’s 3-30 and pairs from Sunil Narine and Pat Cummins.
Captain Eoin Morgan finally came good with the bat with his best score of the season, an unbeaten 47, as Kolkata raced to 126-5 with more than three overs to spare.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard but didn’t perform as well as we would have liked,” Morgan said. “Today, our performance was really impressive, especially from our bowlers, and the way we started and kept the pressure throughout.”
The early four-over spell of Shivam Mavi, 1-13, didn’t allow Punjab to get away. The fast bowler conceded just one boundary and got the key wicket of Chris Gayle, who was caught behind off the first delivery he faced.
Mayank Agarwal (31) and Nicholas Pooran (19) couldn’t capitalize on good starts, falling to the guile of Narine and Varun Chakarvarthy respectively.
Chris Jordan hit three sixes in the last two overs, his quickfire 30 off 18 balls lifting Punjab’s total past 100 before he was clean bowled by Krishna in the last over.
Kolkata’s batting problems up front continued as Punjab took three wickets in the first three overs and reduced it to 3-17.
But Morgan and Rahul Tripathi, 41, combined for 66 to ensure victory. Tripathi survived a close run-out off a direct throw from Gayle and hit seven boundaries. Morgan’s 40-ball knock included four boundaries and two sixes.
Although Kolkata lost Tripathi in the 11th over and Andre Russell was run out for 10 in the 15th over, Dinesh Karthik closed the match with two boundaries against fast bowler Arshdeep Singh.
“It was expected that the pitch was difficult to assess at a new venue when you’re batting first,” Punjab skipper Lokesh Rahul said. “We should have adapted quickly, but we couldn’t do that.”
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