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Twitter Reactions: Kings XI Punjab strangle Knight Riders through spin

Rahul Tewatia's 2/18 and 15* with the bat helped Punjab to win the all-important game against KKR.

Mohit Sharma of Kings XI Punjab
Mohit Sharma of Kings XI Punjab celebrates fall of Sunil Narine’s wicket. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Kings XI Punjab have kept the door for a possible qualification to the playoffs ajar by snapping a 14-run win over hot favorites Kolkata Knight Riders. Chasing a modest 168, KKR couldn’t get going in the chase despite a rollercoaster 52-ball 84 from their star overseas batsman Chris Lynn.

Kings XI were put in to bat first by Gambhir but their innings was not off to an ideal start as they were in a peculiar position at 56/3 in the 9th over. This is when Saha was joined by Maxwell and the duo slowly started rebuilding the innings. Their 71-run stand was critical in getting the Punjab innings back on track. After a few sighters, Maxwell hit the fifth gear as he launched an attack on Grandhomme, hitting him for consecutive sixes in the 12th over. Maxwell’s strikes gave Kings XI the momentum and the skipper targeted young spinner Kuldeep Yadav, again hitting back to back sixes in the 16th over. Yadav had the last laugh as he got the better of the Australian on the very next ball. Saha’s steady 38 and Rahul Tewatia’s enterprising 8-ball 15* helped Punjab propel a fighting score of 167.

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It was business as usual for Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn when they walked out to open the innings. Both were quick to unleash their customary big shots as KKR made early headway into the chase. Narine was castled by a Mohit Sharma off cutter but KKR were in a dominating position of 39/1 in the fourth over. Gambhir took guard at No. 3 but struggled to rotate the strike. In the midst of all this, Lynn was having a ball at the other end and ensured that his side had a vice-like grip on the game.

The introduction of spin had a stifling effect on KKR’s chase as leg-spinner Tewatia and Axar Patel bowled tight probing lines. Gambhir was squeezed for runs and his struggles came to an end when he hit one off Tewatia straight into the hands of deep mid-wicket. Uthappa arrived and was sent back first ball by Tewatia in the same over and the game tilted towards a pulsating contest. The only metric in their favor was that Lynn was still out there in the middle.

From then on, KKR’s chase oscillated between sharp and lax. Pandey took his time to settle in, Lynn was curbing his natural instinct which saw the asking rate surge over 10 runs an over. KKR were still in the game with 50 to win off the last five overs but the duo of Sharmas – Mohit and Sandeep – gave away just 13 runs in the next two overs.

37 from 18 was still gettable with Lynn batting on 84 but consecutive wickets off the first two balls of the 18th over meant that the wheels started to come off. Lynn and Pandey, two set batsmen who could have taken them home, where now back in the hut.

Henry, Sandeep and Mohit delivered three tight overs which meant that KKR could muster just 22 runs in the last 3 overs. It was a brilliant come-from-behind win by Maxwell’s men as they showed intensity as well as desperation in the field. They now need to repeat the same performance in their last two games to ensure a spot in the last four.

We bring you to the best reactions from microblogging website Twitter.

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