KXIP vs KKR: Robin Uthappa and my dismissals were turning points, says Gautam GambhirMay 10, 2017
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 on Thursday and stay in contention for the playoffs.
Needing a win to keep their play-off hopes alive, KXIP could manage just 167/6 after being put in to bat but they defended the total courtesy a remarkable show by their bowlers at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
The hosts restricted KKR to 153/6 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 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 made a rollicking start but lost the way later on as wickets fell in a heap after the KXIP bowlers put pressure by drying up the runs in the later half of run chase.
KKR captain Gautam Gambhir felt his side played too many dot balls after the Powerplay and this cost them the match.
“I thought we started off very well. After six overs, me, Robin (Uthappa) and Manish (Pandey) obviously played too many dot balls,” Gambhir said.
The visitors 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.
Gambhir (8) struggled to get going as Rahul Tewatia sent the in-form skipper back early and Robin Uthappa got out for a golden duck two balls later.
Gambhir termed Tewatia’s double blow as the turning point of the match.
“I thought me and Robin getting out was the turning point. Credit to Kings XI, they hung in there and never gave us easy runs,” he said.
Gambhir also suggested that this could be the end of the Narine opening experiment.
“We have one more game to go. Me and (Chris) Lynn might open and Robin will be back at three. Maybe we could think about that combination in the coming games. At one point of time, the required rate was around 7.5 to 8, taking it to to 11, that was the turning point,” he said.
KKR play Mumbai Indians at home on Saturday to wrap up their league engagements.