Kolkata beats Kings XI 8th straight time to leads IPL

Kolkata beats Kings XI 8th straight time to leads IPL

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Marcus Stoinis
Marcus Stoinis

KOLKATA, India — Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab for the eighth straight time and spoiled the record of the last unbeaten team in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.
Kings XI were made to bat first and slumped from 155-4 in 2 1/2 overs to 170-9, a total they still thought was competitive. Kolkata proved they were wrong by reaching 171-2 with 21 balls to spare. Kolkata replaced Kings XI atop the early standings.
Sunil Narine, the usual West Indies tailender, opened the batting with Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir, and they produced a match-winning partnership of 76 inside six overs.
Narine showed off a batting prowess in Australia’s Big Bash and the Pakistan Super League, but still startled Kings XI by smashing 37 off 18 balls. He was merciless against Varun Aaron, Sandeep Sharma, and Glenn Maxwell.
Narine scored 6-6-4 when he mistimed the fourth ball by Aaron and was out.
Gambhir was on 31, and joined by Robin Uthappa, who scored 26 off 16 balls. When Uthappa left, at 116-2, the target was down to 55 off 60 balls, and Gambhir and Manish Pandey cruised home.
Pandey hit the winning runs, a six over long on, and Gambhir finished on 72 not out, his 33rd half-century tying David Warner for the most in IPL history.
Narine’s man-of-the-match knock made up for a poor fielding effort. He dropped Kings XI opener Manan Vohra on 17 off Trent Boult – Vohra went on to 28 – and a misfield conceded a boundary, also off Boult’s bowling.
Boult finished with unflattering figures of 4-0-36-0, but a lot wasn’t his fault.
The wickets, instead, went to medium-pacer Umesh Yadav, who got Maxwell, who was also dropped, and three more wickets in one over, the 18th.
His 4-33 helped to ensure the reasonable starts by five of the top six batsmen, who all scored in the 20s, didn’t score much bigger.
Woakes claimed a pair in Kings XI’s last over, and the visitor’s 170-9 felt underwhelming at the end. — AP

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