The 44th match of the IPL between KXIP and KKR was one of the most important matches, keeping playoffs in mind. The visitors needed the match to win to make a comeback to the top 4 in the league. They did it in style getting a win of 31 runs in the counter. Here are the few talking points of the match:
1. Sunil Narine’s Blistering Knock:
From the first match of the tournament, KKR went with Narine and Lynn as the openers. However, in the match against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, Narine was demoted, showing that the team does not have enough faith in his abilities as an opener. But in this match, he scored 75 runs in no time, and showed that he can be trusted as an opener in the line. This enabled KKR to post a mammoth total of 245.
2. Finishers Flourishing for KKR:
The middle order of KKR was always under scanner. In this match, the middle order seems to get it right. With that staggering start, they were required to strike big. And they did it quite right. Dinesh Karthik got to a half century, and Russel got to his thirty pretty quickly. Even Nitish Rana looked quite good in the mix.
3. Javon Searles in the playing for KKR:
Searles made his debut for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. His inclusion in the XI was one of the forced decision from KKR team management. Neither Mitchel Johnson nor Tom Curran lived upto to the expectation. KKR is still searching for that overseas fast bowler who can bowl 2 overs upfront and two in the fag of the innings. Considering the wicket and the size of the ground, there is not much to criticise about Searles’s bowling numbers.
4. Mujeeb’s Injury:
The mystery spinner from Afghanistan, Mujeeb started the proceedings of the over. Unfortunately, in the second ball of the over, Narine hit the ball firmly, Mujeeb in an attempt to catch it got injured. This incident hurted the plans of the captain of the Kings. Rotation of bowlers became a bit difficult for the captain. Before this incident, KKR was operating almost run a ball. However, after his injury, KKR started going big at the Kings, and made life difficult for them.
5. Kings XI Punjab Were Never in the Chase:
KXIP started off pretty well. For first five overs, it seemed as if Punjab got the tempo right. However, they soon lost too many wickets, not at all helping their cause. By the end of 10th over they lost 4 wickets. This meant that they will certainly not be able to chase that total. In the end, a few firings from Ashwin reduced the margin of loss to just 31 runs, what could have been certainly more.