Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) faced Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the sixth game of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 where KKR registered their second win by 28 runs. 

KXIP won the toss and elected to field first. Though Chris Lynn was dismissed very cheaply, another opener Sunil Naraine played a quickfire 9-ball 24, including a boundary and 3 sixes. Later, a 110-run partnership between Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa and a 67-run partnership between Uthappa and Russell set the stage of KKR’s win as they put up a huge total of 218/4 after 20 overs.

Chasing the huge total, the dangerous in-form openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle fell very cheaply. Later Mayank Agarwal (58) and David Miller (59) tried their best but their 74-run partnership was not enough to get past the line. Hence, they lost their second game after winning the first one against Rajasthan Royals (RR).

Here are three talking points of the game:

The 110-run partnership between Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa

Put into bat, KKR got off to a flying start, courtesy Sunil Narine. The first over which was bowled by Mohammed Shami conceded only 1 run but the second over was a big one for KKR. Narine faced debutant Varun Chakravarthy and smashed 3 over boundaries and a boundary which took them to 26 in 2 overs. However, both the openers lost their wickets in the third and fourth over respectively.

Last game’s unsung hero Nitish Rana walked into bat in the 4th over when KKR were 36-2 and the other batsman Robin Uthappa too was new in the middle. Rana took some time to settle down whereas Uthappa was hitting big at that time. Rana took 21 balls to reach his 22 runs which included two sixes only. But then he paced his inning and took just 13 balls to score another 41 runs, including five maximums and two boundaries.

Along with him, it was Uthappa, who also supported him with his stable knock. He scored his 24th IPL half-century and 1st in this season in 41 deliveries. Both Rana and Uthappa added 110 runs and steadied the ship before Rana got dismissed for 63 off 34. His dismissal came in the 15th over when KKR was 146/3.

The 17th over – ‘no ball’ and ‘muscle Russell’

After Nitish Rana’s dismissal in the 15th over, Andre Russell came into bat. KKR were in a strong position due to the 110-run partnership between Rana and Uthappa. KKR were looking to reach 200-run mark whereas KXIP were looking for wickets.

Mohammed Shami came into bowl the 17th over where he conceding only one boundary in the first 5 balls. On the 6th delivery, his fantastic yorker right into the blockhole smashed Russell’s stumps. Russell was struggling at 3 off 4. But it was a no-ball as there were only three fielders there inside the circle, instead of four. Hence, the umpire called it a no-ball.

This one no-ball cost KXIP huge as Russell scored 42 runs from the next 11 balls, including 5 maximums and 3 boundaries which eventually helped KKR to reach 218 after 20 overs.

Poor bowling by KXIP

KXIP showed a poor bowling performance in their second game. Ashwin handed over the ball to debutant Varun Chakravarthy in the very second over where he conceded 25 runs in a single over. However, KKR chose the spinners mainly to hit big. The 2nd, 14th, 18th & 19th over was seen conceding more than 20 runs while the 1st, 5th, 15th over was seen conceding mere six runs each.

In this calculative risk and scoring abilities, KKR put up 126 runs in the last 6 overs while KXIP conceded 92 runs in the first 14 overs. After Rana-Uthappa’s 110-run partnership and a missed dismissal chance of Russell in the 17th over, Russell became dangerous and smashed 3 boundaries and 5 sixes in the 18th and 9th over. 

Andrew Tye and Mohammed Shami both failed to restrict KKR. Had Punjab planned and used in a better way, they could have restricted KKR from scoring so big.

Also Read: 4 most important players for KKR this season


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