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IPL 2018 – KKR vs KXIP: Knight Riders flatten Kings XI with season-topping 245


MAY 12, 2018

Brief Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders 245 for 6 (Narine 75, Karthik 50, Tye 4-41) beat Kings XI Punjab 214 for 8 (Rahul 66, Ashwin 45, Russell 3-41) by 31 runs

May 12, 2018: Karthik brings out one of his trick shots – BCCI

INDORE – Flat pitch, short boundaries, the best hitters in the game. This match featured all three ingredients, and by the end of it, only one match in all 11 IPL seasons had exceeded its 40-over run aggregate of 459. In the end, Kolkata Knight Riders’ total of 245, the fourth highest in IPL history, proved a stretch too far for Kings XI Punjab, who went into the match with at least one batsman too few.

KKR boasted far more depth, and almost all their batsmen fired after they were sent in on a 45-degree Indore afternoon. Sunil Narine and Dinesh Karthik did the bulk of the heavy lifting with half-centuries at 200-plus strike rates, but there were important contributions from Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell as well, and end-overs cameos from Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill.

There was, in short, no respite for Kings XI, who were also without a key bowler, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, for a significant chunk of the innings. Struck on the hand by a blistering Narine drive while bowling his second over, Mujeeb was off the field for 11.4 overs, and it was too late for him to make any sort of difference by the time he came back to bowl the 16th.

Chasing 246 with a line-up that had Axar Patel at No. 6, Kings XI were even more dependent on their openers than usual. KL Rahul kept them hoping with a 29-ball 66, but by the time he was dismissed in the ninth over, the batsmen at the other end (and extras) had only made 27 for 3 off 25 balls.

Kings XI didn’t quite have the batting to chase 153 off the last 11 overs, and though there was some furious hitting from Aaron Finch and R Ashwin towards the end, it was never going to be enough.