Kolkata stuns Punjab, Bangalore knocks down Chennai in IPL
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Kolkata Knight Riders scored a sensational two-run win over Kings XI Punjab on Saturday, and Royal Challengers Bangalore tamed Chennai Super Kings with 37 runs in the Indian Premier League.
Virat Kohli led Bangalore to 169-4 with an entertaining, unbeaten 90 of 52 balls in Dubai.
The South African Chris Morris, who played his first game of the season, then beat Chennai's powerhitter in the death overs by 3-19. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team remained behind again with 132: 8.
“The hitting was a little worrying,” Dhoni admitted. He only scored 10 before plunging into the deep.
“We're better off playing the other way around and playing the bigger strokes even if you fold. We can do that in the upcoming games. "
Kohli single-handedly took command after Chennai narrowed Bangalore to 93-4 in the 15th.
Kohli hit four borders and four sixes, adding 76 runs from the last 33 balls along with Shivam Dube (22 not out).
Fast bowlers Shardul Thakur (2-40) and Sam Curran (1-48) couldn't stop the flow when Kohli played his typical cover drives and pulled shots.
Chennai never tried to threaten Bangalore's grand total after losing veteran Shane Watson, 14, and Faf du Plessis, 8, on power play.
Ambati Rayudu was scrambling for 40 deliveries to get the highest score at 42 when Morris cheap grabbed the gates of hard hitting Curran, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo in his return spell.
Chennai only have two wins in seven games while Bangalore is comfortably in the top half of the table.
In Abu Dhabi, it took Punjab six runs to tie Sunil Narine's final ball and Glenn Maxwell's hit over the ceiling landed just inside the border. Punjab fell two runs short at 162-5.
Kolkata had previously recovered well from a slow start by Captain Dinesh Karthik's conspicuous 29-ball punch from 58 runs to 164-6.
Punjab finished 136-1 and only took 29 runs from the last four overs. But Kolkata stormed back when fast bowler Prasidh Krishna lost 3:29 and Narine 2:28 to Punjab for the fifth straight time.
"Prasidh is special, the way he came back and played bowling in the second spell," Karthik said.
“Sunil Narine stands for us most of the time. He is calm and always looking for the best way to contribute to the team. "
In the middle of the league phase, Punjab have only won one win after seven games and are at the bottom of the table. Kolkata is in the top half.
Captain Lokesh Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, who made 56, gave Punjab a solid start of 114 runs, but when Krishna enabled the opening on the 15th by sacking Agarwal, Punjab's fragile top-order lineup slipped again against world-class bowling.
Krishna took the game away from Punjab in the 19th by claiming two wickets, including the crucial sacking of Rahul, who scored the first goal with 74 balls out of 58 after being dropped by Andre Russell in only the second.
"I have no answers," said Rahul, who, at three and a half centuries and a century, was the only hit star for Punjab.
Kolkata fought 60-2 after 10 overs before Karthik made sure with eight fours and two sixes he had enough runs on the board to defend himself.
Karthik dominated the 82-run stand on fourth wicket with Shubman Gill, who turned 47 balls into a defiant 57 before both failed in death overs.
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