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KOLKATA: Piyush Chawla bowled Kings XI Punjab to a thrilling two-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens here, on Sunday.
Chawla picked up three wickets, including those of the well-set Manvinder Bisla and the dangerous Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan, for just 18 runs in four overs, as Punjab prevented the home team from getting to the 135 target it was set despite cruising on 73 for two at one stage.
KKR looked untroubled for the most part as Gautam Gambhir, Manvinder Bisla and Manoj Tiwary all got starts, and when Debrata Das announced himself with an unbeaten 23-ball 35, KKR needed just 13 to win off the last 12 balls - with four wickets in hand. But Praveen Kumar bowled a sensational 19th over for just four runs, leaving the home team to get nine runs off Harmeet Singh’s last over.
Harmeet obliged with a made-to-order effort, confining KKR to just six runs – dismissing Ryan ten Doeschate in the bargain - and allowing Punjab to register a much-needed away win in IPL-V.
Although KKR lost Jacques Kallis cheaply in its pursuit, the young Indian pair of Bisla and Tiwary shepherded the team with a 43-run partnership. Tiwary was trapped in front by Bhatt, and Bisla clean bowled by Chawla in the next over, as the home side was left with 55 to get in a shade under eight overs.
It was here that Punjab began to apply the brakes. Yusuf and Shakib left cheaply to Chawla, and suddenly the going wasn’t quite as easy for KKR as had appeared a few overs earlier. Although ten Doeschate and Debrata brought some stability back to chase - adding 40 in 29 balls for the seventh wicket - in the end Punjab bowled to a plan and tasted success for a hard-fought win.
Earlier, ‘mystery spinner’ Sunil Narine claimed five for 19 in four overs, as KKR restricted Punjab to 134 after skipper Gambhir elected to field. A struggling Adam Gilchrist – finally showing signs of weathering – became Narine’s first victim when he was out for a nine-ball five.
Mandeep Singh (38) and David Hussey (32) enabled the visiting side to reach 134-9 in 20 overs after they were sent in to bat. Punjab would have ended with more, were it not for the Narine’s wizardry, which accounted for five wickets for just 19 runs in his quota of four overs.
Narine nailed Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh in his first spell, and returned to claim Bipul Sharma and Praveen Kumar in the same over – the 18th of KKR’s innings – to peg the host back each time it looked to break free. The West Indian picked up another wicket in his last over – the 20th of the innings- when he dismissed Harmeet, who had struck three precious boundaries in an invaluable six-ball 14. Narine was declared man-of-the-match for his effort, although his team ended on the losing side.