KKR vs PBKS Highlights: Kolkata edge Punjab in last-ball thriller to keep playoff hopes alive Cricket News

New Delhi: Captain’s brilliant half-century Nitish Rana was followed as a ‘Russell’ frenzy Kolkata Knight Riders Pip Punjab Kings in a last-ball thriller to keep their playoff hopes alive in the ongoing 16th edition IPL on Monday.
KKR finally broke the Eden Gardens code after three straight defeats at home, registering a thrilling five-wicket win in chase of a difficult 180.
The win was Kolkata’s fifth win of the season and helped them move up to fifth in the points table. Punjab, on the other hand, suffered their sixth defeat of the season and are now seventh in their season from 11 matches.

Two runs were needed off the last ball. Rinku Singh ‘The finisher’ was once again cool as a cucumber, hitting Arshdeep Singh for a four to set up a tense chase.
It was a complete ‘RRR’ show by KKR as captain Rana scored a half-century and andre russell Adding muscle to chase down 180, Rinku finished the game with a 10-ball 21 not out.
Earlier, Varun Chakravarthy once again brilliantly held his bowling department to account for 3/26 as KKR restricted PBKS to 179 for seven after opting to bat on a slow wicket.
as it happened
In reply, KKR show batting show led by a brilliant effort from Rana as he promoted himself to No.3 and laid the foundation for a 38-ball 51 (6×4, 1×6).
On a wicket where the odd ball was catching and batsmen struggled to find their timing, Rana built up a crucial fifty-plus stand with Venkatesh Iyer (11) before Andre Russell and Rinku Singh took the issue sealed up.
Needing 56 off 28 balls after Rana became Rahul Chahar’s second victim, Russell went ballistic against Sam Curran, hitting three sixes in four balls in his 20-run over to turn the equation in KKR’s favour. Sixes were needed in the over.
But death over specialist Arshdeep Singh, who had a six to defend, hit four boundaries off the first four deliveries. Arshdeep has often faltered due to failing his yorkers of late.
More drama followed when Russell was run out off the final ball as the cool-headed Rinku Singh (21 not out; 10b) once again came to KKR’s rescue and sealed the win with a four off the last ball.
The pair of Russell and Rinku shared a match-winning partnership of 54 runs in 26 balls.
Their second consecutive win pushed KKR (-0.079) past Royal Challengers Bangalore (-0.209) into the top five on net run rate as five teams are locked in a mid-table rush for the playoffs with 10 points each.

Chahar bowled a brilliant 10th over and conceded just three runs to take them to 76/2 at the halfway stage as the home side still had a lot of work to do, needing 104 from the back-10.
But Rana turned it around, taking charge on Livingstone when he hit the PBKS part-time spinner for two fours and a six in his 16-run over.
It wasn’t easy as leg-spinner Rahul Chahar played his part quietly taking 4-0-23-2.
He not only broke the fifty-plus stand between Rana and Venkatesh Iyer but also dismissed both of them in a span of nine runs to keep PBKS’ hopes alive.

Earlier, KKR impact players Jason Roy (38; 24b) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (15; 12b) got them off to a brisk start as they scored 36 without loss in four overs after Arshdeep Singh was clean bowled in the 16th over.
But the opening pair failed to convert their starts and were dismissed in 16 balls when the match was evenly poised.
Nathan Ellis managed to trap Gurbaz LBW at a slower pace, before Roy became the victim of Brar after failing to clear deep midwicket.
On day one Sunil Narine (4-0-29-0) was decent but still went wicketless, Chakraborty preferring the slow nature of the track where the odd ball hit the ground with excellent figures of 4-0-26-3 Was holding on to return. PBKS opted to bat.
It would have been worse for PBKS but the pair of Shah Rukh Khan (21 not out; 8b) and Harpreet Brar (17 not out; 9b) produced a fine performance in the last two overs, collecting 36 runs in an unbroken 40-run partnership. Which came in just 16 balls.
Chakraborty, fresh off his last-over heroics while defending nine runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad, removed the in-form Punjab duo of Liam Livingstone and Jitesh Sharma, who had broken their backs in the middle overs.
Livingstone looked at his destructive best, hitting Andre Russell for three fours in the fifth over.
Looking dangerous in his nine-ball 15, Livingstone was caught on his back-foot by a precise sharp leg-break from Chakravarthy.
Harshit Rana (3-0-33-2) took two wickets inside the Powerplay as KKR got off to a perfect start, reducing PBKS to 58/3.
Captain Shikhar Dhawan (57; 47b) played a Virat Kohli-like knock against Delhi Capitals on the second day but the left-handed batsman could never get going and was dismissed by KKR skipper Nitish Rana.
Dhawan shared a 53-run partnership with Jitesh Sharma (21).
Rana cleverly bowled Chakravarthy once inside the powerplay and then got Rishi Dhawan wrong in the 8th, 13th and 17th overs as he served his quota.
Rishi (19; 11b) made it clear his intention to hit Chakravarthy for a six off the first ball but the KKR spinner had the last laugh.
On an Eden wicket that looked to be on the dry side from the outside, pacer Rana got KKR off to a perfect start, hitting three fours in the first over before Prabhasimran struck twice in two overs.
Gurbaz caught Prabhasimran in the second attempt and in his next over, Rana dismissed Bhanuka Rajapaksa for a three-ball duck.
However, things still tilted in favor of PBKS as in-form Liam Livingstone retaliated by hitting Andre Russell for three consecutive fours in the 19-run over.

PBKS looked on course with 51/2 after five overs when Chakravarthy trapped Livingstone plumb on his back-foot in a turning point for KKR.
(With inputs from PTI)

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