IPL 2021: Match 45, KKR vs PBKS – Who Said What

IPL 2021: Match 45, KKR vs PBKS – Who Said What

Punjab Kings secured a five-wicket win to climb to the fifth spot in the tally.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

After ending uncountable times on the wrong side of the result in close games, or games they themselves made close out of nowhere, the Punjab Kings ended on the correct side in Dubai against Kolkata Knight Riders, as they defeated them by five wickets in a last-over finish to keep their Playoff qualification hopes alive.

For the Knight Riders, it was once again a Venkatesh Iyer show, who smashed a dominant 49-ball 67, with nine fours and a six that laid the foundation of his team’s 165/6. Contributions also came from Rahul Tripathi (34 off 26) and Nitish (31 off 18), however, there was not much from other batters. Arshdeep Singh (3/32), the pick of Punjab’s bowlers, struck early to clean up Shubman Gill for a run-a-ball 7 before Iyer and Tripathi added 72 for the second wicket.

Ravi Bishnoi (2/22)removed Tripathi in the 11th over to dent KKR’s flow. A minor blip arrived in the middle overs as Bishnoi struck to send back Iyer only an over before Mohammed Shami pinned Eoin Morgan lbw for 2 to extend his dismal form in the tournament this year. Morgan is yet to score in double-digits in the UAE leg.

Chasing a modest 166 on one of the better batting surfaces so far, PBKS were off to a flier, with openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal adding 70 runs in 8.5 overs, before the latter was dismissed by Varun Chakravarthy for 40 off 27. Punjab enjoyed their share of luck throughout their innings, with Agarwal being dropped by Morgan when he was yet to get off the mark.

No. 3 Nicholas Pooran walked back quickly, with Chakravarthy claiming his second wicket, before Rahul and Aiden Markram settled the chase with a crucial 45 runs stand for the third wicket. It seemed PBKS might just to a PBKS when Markram was removed for 18 off 16 by Sunil Narine followed by the immediate departure of Deepak Hooda courtesy of Shivam Mavi. Although Rahul continued to anchor, this time alongside Shahrukh Khan, who played a stellar cameo of 22 off just 9, with two sixes and a four to take his team across the line.

In between, there was plenty of drama, however, with a couple of misfields going PBKS’ way and Rahul getting life by Dinesh Karthik on a tough catching opportunity. Rahul also survived a controversial catch call when the third umpire adjudged him not out for a catch that he deemed was not taken cleanly. He was finally dismissed for 67 off 55 in the final over.

Shahrukh Khan, who, too, got a life in the 17th over when Iyer nearly grabbed him off Mavi before getting disbalanced and spilling the ball beyond the boundary, got lucky once again in the ultimate over, when Rahul Tripathi failed to hold on to his catch in the deep, as the ball popped out of his hands and went past the line for a six, leading Punjab to finally secure a victory that uplifted them to the fifth spot in the tally.

Losing skipper Eoin Morgan

: Initially we didn’t field that well, we put catches down, myself early and other guys, it has cost us. When the game gets that tight towards the end, extra few wickets down would have helped us. Equally I thought we fought hard, batted really well and probably had a par score. Not a winning score on that wicket but thought the bowlers did a good job. Kings played well and then we fought back, catches have cost us. I thought in real time it was out (referring to the Rahul catch in the 19th over). Obviously when you slow things down and analyse it.. that the third umpire thought otherwise and his decision is made, that’s final and we need to get on with it. But it would have been nice if we had got that wicket. I think everyone that went out there found it difficult to get going initially, it was not an easy wicket to start on. But after having a strong 13-14 overs we didn’t capitalize on that platform. Yeah, he (Venkatesh Iyer) is (some player). He’s a real find for us, has been with us the whole campaign and we have watched him in practice.. above all his attitude is fantastic for a guy that plays fearlessly as he does with the bat. He takes a lot of responsibility with the ball, Dre Russ leaves a huge gap in the allrounder position for us but to have someone come in and contribute is really outstanding. We have played some great cricket in the second half and have some positives to take away from tonight as well. Two more games to go, we will fight hard and hopefully get a couple of good results and be in the playoffs.

Winning skipper and Player of the Match KL Rahul:

 I’ll take the two points (heaves a huge sigh). We played it smartly. Realised it was a decent wicket and can’t experiment too much. Went slightly defensive with the ball. Wasn’t much spin. Wanted to make the batters hit to the bigger side. With the bat also we’ve given clear roles to players. Obviously want to finish games. Weather’s not been too kind coming straight from England. Win will give us confidence and hopefully we’ll build on it. These are things that kill me as a captain. Don’t want to leave out the Indian boys. With a heavy heart had to leave Harpreet out. Had to see what would be our best XI with Chris leaving the bubble. Shahrukh has been batting brilliantly in the nets. Saw how strong he is in the first phase. He’s asking a lot of questions and wanting to finish games. Today he played proper cricket shots, got a few boundaries and we all know he can hit the ball a long way. He can finish games, has done it for Tamil Nadu. Often times we’ve put too much pressure on ourselves. Everybody knows we are a far better team. Putting too much pressure on ourselves is not helping. Message has been to give our best. Every game we’ve fought till the end.