Chris Lynn’s brilliant 84 went in vain as Kings XI Punjab produced a clinical bowling show under pressure to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 14 runs in a tense IPL match and keep themselves afloat in the tournament.
Needing a win today to keep their play-off hopes alive, KXIP could put up just 167 for 6 after being put into bat but they defended the total courtesy a remarkable show by their bowlers at the PCA Stadium.
The home side restricted KKR to 153 for 6 to win the match and remain in contention for a knock-out berth with 12 points from 12 matches. They are now at fifth spot in the league table.
The home side also produced a fantastic fielding performance, including a brilliant catch by Axar Patel to dismiss Robin Uthappa.
The pick of the KXIP bowlers was Rahul Tewatia who took 2 wickets for 18 runs from his two overs while Mohit Sharma got 2/24 from 3 overs. Sandeep Sharma did not take a wicket but conceded just 31 runs from his four overs.
KKR, who have already booked a play-offs berth, also remained at second spot with 16 points from 13 matches.
The visiting side made a rollicking start but lost the way later on as wickets in a heap after the KXIP bowlers put pressure by drying up the runs in the later half of run chase.
KKR began with all guns blazing with Sunil Narine and Lynn finding the runs with boundaries during the powerplay overs. But once Narine was out, the runs almost dried up though Lynn was getting the odd boundaries.
Lynn played a lone hand for KKR and none of his team- mates contributed substantially. Manish Pandey and Narine were the next highest run-getters with 18 each. Captain Gautam Gambhir scored just 8 runs.
Take away Lynn’s eight fours and three sixes in his 52- ball knock, the other KKR batsmen hit just six more boundaries and a six.
KKR were 82 for 3 at the halfway stage, needing another 89 to win the match. The home side bowlers were then able to keep KKR batsmen quiet for the remainder of the match. Pressure mounted and KKR needed 50 from the final five overs but three wickets fell in a heap in seven balls in the 17th and 18th overs in the form of Manish Pandey (18), Lynn and Yusuf Pathan (2) and that ended the contest.