IPL 2018: Match 18, KKR vs KXIP, Review - KL Rahul joins Gayle in KKR mauling at the Eden Gardens

IPL 2018: Match 18, KKR vs KXIP, Review – KL Rahul joins Gayle in KKR mauling at the Eden Gardens

Lynn came back into some form in this game but his knock of 74 runs went in vain.

KL Rahul & Chris Gayle
KL Rahul & Chris Gayle. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Eden Gardens is no more a fortress for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) it seems. They have lost their second match this season at the venue as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) are making some serious statements with the way they are playing currently. It was once again the combined assault from Chris Gayle and KL Rahul which got them off to a cracking start and won them the game thanks to the rain interruption. However, KKR, despite scoring loads of runs, were at the receiving end as their bowlers had no idea how to bowl the openers of the visiting side.

The visitors invited the Knight Riders to bat first after winning the toss as they brought in the pace bowler Ankit Rajpoot into the playing XI at the expense of Mohit Sharma. The hosts went in with the same bunch of players which thumped Royals in their own den.

Lynn finally gets going

KKR needed to attack from the word go and had to score more runs keeping in mind the possibility of the Gayle storm in the second innings. But Sunil Narine continued to blow hot and cold at the top of the order as he was holed out in the deep off Mujeeb Zadran. The credit of that wicket has to go to the skipper R Ashwin who had stationed Karun Nair perfectly. The joy was short-lived for them as the in-form Robin Uthappa strode out to bat and Chris Lynn also found his groove.

Both added runs at a fast pace as they put pressure on the youngster Barinder Sran who was deposited into the stands thrice in the 8th over which got them going. One of the sixes off Lynn’s bat went almost 100 metres as it was hit with as much ferocity by the batsman after Sran pitched it in his slot. There was a period where KXIP tried to come back as they picked the wickets of Uthappa and Nitish Rana in quick succession. But Lynn kept on going strong as the run-flow didn’t stop with Dinesh Karthik also hitting the straps soon.

KXIP come back at the death

Just when everyone thought that Lynn will hit the third century of this season, some clever bowling from Andrew Tye sent him back which started the slide of the home side. KKR lost Andre Russell in the very next over and their ambitions of scoring over 200 runs took a big hit. Karthik tried his best by hitting some delightful strokes and finding gaps but they could post a total of 191 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. It was the effect of Tye’s bowling at the back end of the innings which worked for the visiting side as he conceded only 6 runs in his last two overs.

Rahul joins Gayle storm

Chris Gayle alone is enough to take his side home when he gets going. Just imagine the onslaught if KL Rahul also joins him in the fun! KKR will feel unlucky that the duo absolutely smashed the leather brutally in the first six overs. Rahul was saved after the inside edge went past the stumps off Shivam Mavi of the first delivery of the innings itself but he didn’t stop after that.  It was some clever batting from him and showed everyone that he is the master of placing the ball as well.

Meanwhile, the Universe Boss let his partner enjoy and then finally decided to smack the opposition and put them out of the game completely. Once again, the left-hander didn’t try to hit every ball and picked his bowlers to launch an assault. The hapless tried everything which was in their hands by bowling wide of off-stump, onto his body but the big man was ready.

Though the rain saved KKR bowlers as it started pouring down in the 9th over with KXIP well ahead of the Duckworth Lewis par-score. They were set a target of 125 runs in 13 overs out of which 96 were already scored. After resumption, the visitors lost the wicket of Rahul though but not before he smoked a couple more fours and a six. The game finished in the very next over itself as the formalities were completed by Gayle and helped his side rise to the top of the points table.

Brief Scores

Kolkata Knight Riders 191/7 after 20 overs (C Lynn 74, D Karthik 43; A Tye 2/30)

Kings XI Punjab 126/1 after 11.1 overs (C Gayle 62*, KL Rahul 60)

Result: Kings XI Punjab won by 9 wickets (DLS method)

Man of the Match: KL Rahul

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