The Gautam Gambhir led Kolkata won the toss and opted to field first against Punjab in the 49th game of IPL 2017. So, the KXIP should win all their next three games and the SRH should lose their next two games.
However, the Kings XI Punjab, needing a win to stay alive in the playoffs race, stopped the batsmen's charge brilliantly and a comfortable win for KKR turned into a stunning victory for KXIP, a win that keeps the race for the top four still interesting. The boundaries were hard to come by as the target was down to 50 runs in the final five overs.
Then, Chris Woakes, KKR's bowler of the day, dismissed the risky Shaun Marsh (11, 10b, 2x4), who looked like he might be in the mood with a gorgeous straight drive, leaving Maxwell and Wriddhiman Saha to fix the innings.
Meanwhile, skipper Gautam Gambhir wasn't being given a chance to free his arms and he was struggling to hit boundaries. Narine, who had scored the joint fastest IPL fifty in the last game, perished for a 10-ball 18.
Kolkata, who needed a win to seal their playoffs spot, began strongly with Chris Lynn (84, 52b, 8x4, 3x6) and Sunil Narine (18, 10b, 4x4) bringing up 39 in just 3.4 overs till Narine was sent back by Sandeep Sharma (0/31). Sandeep Sharma did not take a wicket but conceded just 31 runs from his four overs.
The Kings XI didn't get off to the best start losing both openers in the powerplay with Manan Vohra (25) nicking off to Umesh Yadav in the fifth over before Martin Guptill (12) was trapped leg before by Sunil Narine.
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Maxwell, Saha and Manan Vohra (25) got the starts but could not convert them to big scores.
In the sixteenth over, Maxwell hit the wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav for consecutive sixes, but was then outfoxed by the bowler.
The hosts were further in trouble as Shaun Marsh (11) departed after a promising start.
Marsh fell to a gem of a delivery off Chris Woakes.
The wicket-keeper batsman was returning from an injury but that did not deter him from taking on the leg-spinner off the first ball he faced. Trying to clear the fence again, the big-hitting Australian forced Woakes to run across from long-off and complete a superb catch.
Saha (38 from 33 balls) too was outsmarted by Kuldeep in the eighteenth over; the KXIP wicketkeeper walked out signaling his intent early, only for the bowler to throw it wide and Robin Uthappa completed an easy stumping.