Five of six contests were won by the chasing side in the previous edition of Indian Premiere League (IPL) at Eden Gardens. So, when Gautam Gambhir called it right at the toss, it did not come as surprise when he opted to bowl first in Kolkata Knight Riders‘ (KKR) first home game against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Preferring Colin de Grandhomme over Shakib Al Hasan suggested that the track has more for pacers than spinners. But that none of that bothered KXIP. Led by Glen Maxwell and coached by Virender Sehwag, KXIP approached attacking brand of cricket and amassed 179 for 9 in 20 overs in match 11 of the 10th edition. Live Cricket Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab, Match 11 at Eden Gardens
The first ball Trent Boult bowl to Hashim Amla took off the surface, suggesting that KKR had done their homework. That does not mean that KXIP would not benefit from that. Amla, along with Manan Vohra, used the pace of the track to their advantage and hit 6 boundaries in first 4 overs.
Gambhir right away introduced Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla from both ends. While the mystery spinner from the Caribbean contained the onslaught, the Indian leg-spinner knocked over Vohra off his first ball.
Like KXIP sent Axar Patel at No. 3 in their opener, Marcois Stonis came one-down as pinch-hitter. The ploy terribly failed. Stoinis took 12 balls to score 9 runs and took a long walk to the pavilion.
In came Maxwell who score over 100 runs so far without getting dismissed. With 12 overs to go, it was unlikely that a batsman of Maxwell’s impatience would last until the 20th over. Meanwhile, Amla had reached 25, but he was batting at more than run-a-ball pace. In the pursuit of raising the bar, he induced a leading edge of de Grandhomme.
From 53 for 1, the scorecard read 97 for 3. At one point, it seemed KXIP would reach 200, but Umesh Yadav had Maxwell caught behind, dismissing another KXIP batsman in 20s.
Though KXIP had lost 4 wickets, they had enough firepower in their armoury. David Miller and Wriddhiman Saha combined to add 57 runs off 5.2 overs, before Umesh sent both batsmen pack off consecutive deliveries. It was Umesh’s only second four-wicket haul in 81 matches.
More to follow…
Kings XI Punjab 172 for 7 (Manan Vohra 28 (19), David Miller 28 (19); Umesh Yadav 4 for 33) vs Kolkata Knight Riders