Kolkata lives on in IPL after overcoming Punjab

·2-min read

KOLKATA, India (AP) — Andre Russell hit a 23-ball 42 for Kolkata Knight Riders to top Punjab Kings by five wickets and stay alive in the Indian Premier League playoffs race on Monday.

Russell’s late heroics drove Kolkata to the brink of victory until he was run out off the penultimate ball. Rinku Singh then hit the last delivery by Arshdeep Singh to the square leg boundary for the victory.

Punjab’s 179-7 was beaten by Kolkata's 182-5.

Kolkata rose to fifth on the table and within striking distance of the top four, trailing fourth-placed Rajasthan Royals on net run-rate. Punjab slipped to seventh on run-rate.

Shikhar Dhawan’s 57 off 47 balls powered Punjab to a par total. His nine fours and a six anchored Punjab while wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end.

Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy picked up 3-26 in four overs to stifle the Punjab middle order. This was after pacer Harshit Rana took 2-32 to make inroads at the top.

Dhawan and Jitesh Sharma put on 53 off 42 balls for the fourth wicket, Punjab's only impactful partnership. Another four wickets were lost in the space of 29 balls and Punjab was 139-7 in 17.2 overs.

Shahrukh Khan and Harpreet Brar combined for 40 runs off 16 balls to give Punjab a fighting chance.

Jason Roy launched Kolkata's reply with 38 off2 24 balls, and skipper Nitish Rana took over with 51 off 38. Rana hit six fours and a six.

Russell arrived in the 14th over at 115-3, and he took a little time to settle in with Rinku Singh. Then Russell smashed three sixes in a 20-run Sam Curran over to bring the target down to six runs off the last over.

Russell and Singh added 54 off 26 balls to edge close to the finish line, and the latter completed the job in style.


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