Kolkata Knight Riders cruised to their second win in IPL 2021 despite their top-order struggles as they chased 124 with five wickets to spare against Punjab Kings. Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan, who elected to field first, rotated his bowlers well this time to expose Punjab Kings’ underperforming batting line-up. Morgan, who had been struggling for runs, also found form and stayed till the end to lead his side to victory.
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal defensive approach yet again was the brunt of their problems as they reached less than 40 in five overs. The captain was the first to go when he top-edged to Sunil Narine, while trying to go for a lofted shot. Chris Gayle and Deepak Hooda did not last long either, with the former perishing for a first-ball duck. Mayank Agarwal’s 31 was the top score for them; however, he became the victim of Rahul Tripathi’s terrific catch.
Nicholas Pooran showcased flashes of returning to his best before Varun Chakravarthy floored his stump. Chris Jordan was only the second batsman to make 30 runs as his fireworks towards the end gave Punjab a respectable score. Perhaps, Jordan was amongst the five batsmen to reach double figures as Punjab managed 123 in their stipulated overs.
In response, Kolkata Knight Riders had the worst start possible, with Nitish Rana chipping a juicy full toss to depart for a golden duck in the opening over. Shubman Gill was the second casualty as Mohammed Shami trapped him in front in the second. The third over from Arshdeep Singh saw Sunil Narine perish, thanks to Ravi Bishnoi’s stunning catch at deep mid-wicket.
Rahul Tripathi was livid with himself when he holed out to long-on in the 11th over for 41, as KL Rahul’s move to give Hooda the ball worked, ending a 66-run stand with Morgan. By that time, Punjab Kings sensed a collapse as the Knight Riders were still 40 runs adrift of victory. Andre Russell, who faced a testing spell from Mohammed Shami and got two boundaries off outside edges, found himself short of Arshdeep Singh’s direct from short third man. Morgan’s six in the 15th over after a four enabled him to pass 7000 runs in T20 cricket and made the equation far more comfortable. He joined hands with Dinesh Karthik to avoid any further wickets and took Kolkata Knight Riders home with an unbeaten 47.
Below is how Twitter reacted to the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings:
Batsmen crying over the chepauk pitch.
— chaat (@chaatmasaala) April 26, 2021
— Corona Warrior (@corona_warrior) April 26, 2021
— Vinay Kumar R (@Vinay_Kumar_R) April 26, 2021
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) April 26, 2021
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) April 26, 2021
We've had a catch off a full toss, the catch of the tournament, a run-out where the batsman starts walking only to discover he was in…..all in 4 overs!
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 26, 2021
— Wear a Mask. Stay Safe, India (@cricketaakash) April 26, 2021