A confident move by Kolkatta Knight Riders to bat first after winning the toss saw it pay rich dividends with Kings XI continuing their poor form and unable to effectively chase down a target of 182.
Mohali saw the in-form Ravi Bopara of Kings XI fall lbw to Shane Bond in the very first over of the chase. Yuvraj Singh, opening with Bopara, was looking in very good nick, until a short arm pull resulted in a high catch which was superbly taken by a diving Manoj Tiwary.
Sangakkara’s men failed again
Bisla, on the other hand, seemed awkward and all over the place, until he succumbed to a good catch from David Hussey, giving Ajit Agarkar his second wicket. This brought Jayawardene together with Sangakkara, and much was expected from them. After surviving a difficult missed catch by Shane Bond, Jayawardene departed bowled by Angelo Mathews while trying to play him down the leg side.
An attempted reverse sweep, a stumble and much embarrassment later saw the skipper Sangakkara stumped by Saha off Chris Gayle. Kings XI finished up finally at 144/6 and were never really in the chase, though they did manage a few hits towards the end through Pathan, who was dismissed for 22.
For Kolkatta, Ganguly was back at his favourite opening slot, a position that has given him enormous success when playing for India, along with Gayle. Gayle could not fire, though he managed to give Brett Lee a tough welcome over, which cost 19 runs.
He was accounted for, while trying to pull Shalab Shrivastava, by a spectacular diving effort by Manvinder Bisla at the boundary to snap up a ball swerving away from him. With Manoj Tiwary having a slow start, Ganguly kept Kolkatta in sights of a good total with a well made 50 off40 balls, till he had a tame end depositing a ball from Irfan Pathan to Piyush Chawla at long on.
David Hussey came next, but left rather quickly after being bowled by Chawla. Angelo Mathews kept Tiwary company till he was pouched by a jumping Brett Lee for 19 runs. The real momentum came from Tiwary in the last over of the innings, taking 21 runs off Irfan Pathan, including 2 well hit sixes and finishing with 75 from 47 balls.
This win brings Kolkatta back in the hunt and pushes them above Chennai, while Punjab have just made it even more difficult for themselves to make the semi-finals, sitting at the very bottom of the league table.
Kolkatta Knight Riders – 183/5 (M. Tiwary 75, S.C Ganguly 50, A.D Mathews 19, S.J Srivastava 2/23, IK Pathan 2/42, PP Chawla 1/35) Beat Kings XI Punjab – 144/6 (K.C Sangakkara 30, Yuvraj Singh 24, M.S Bisla 22, I.K Pathan 22, S.E Bond 2/24, A.B Agarkar 2/33, A.D Mathews 1/26)