Shahrukh Khan surely never lets Preity Zinta down as Punjab Kings clinches victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 5 wickets in the 45th match of Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday.
After KL Rahul (67) gave away his wicket in the last over to Venkatesh Iyer, the KKR bowler was all set to get the wicket of Shahrukh Khan as he tried to hit the ball for a six. It was a chance for deep midwicket, but the fielder dropped it and tipped it over the ropes as PBKS avoid the late drama.
With this win, PBKS join KKR and Mumbai Indians (MI) on 10 points each. All teams are looking to book their spot in the top 4 as the tournament reaches towards its end.
As for the clash, Punjab Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (40) always gave the needed partnership. However, after the latter’s wicket, things slowed down. Nicholas Pooran (12), Aiden Markram (18) and Shahrukh Khan (22*) made sure to help their skipper and take the side towards victory.
When it comes to KKR bowlers, Varun Chakaravarthy picked two wickets while Shivam Mavi, Sunil Narine and Venkatesh Iyer picked one each.
Earlier, a fine bowling performance from Punjab Kings in the second half restricted KKR to 165/7. Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi were dealing in boundaries and were on course to put on a mammoth total before Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh staged a comeback for Punjab Kings.
Put in to bat first, KKR suffered an early jolt as Shubman Gill was cleaned up by Arshdeep Singh in the third over. However, Venkatesh and Tripathi took on the Punjab bowlers and revived KKR’s innings.
The duo took KKR to 48 for the loss of one wicket at the end of the powerplay. Venkatesh and Tripathi continued their fine form and stitched a 72-run stand for the second wicket.
Ravi Bishnoi picked two wickets in quick succession to put a brake on KKR’s run-scoring spree. Bishnoi first removed the well-set Tripathi and dismissed the dangerous Venkatesh for 67.
Skipper Eoin Morgan again failed to leave a mark and Nitish Rana, who was looking dangerous, was dismissed by Arshdeep Singh in the 18th over before KKR could cross the 150-run mark.
In the last two overs, KKR was only able to score 14 runs to reach 165/7 in the allotted 20 overs.