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Kings XI Punjab shock Kolkata by 4 runs as Gony reigns supreme

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An organized and efficient team effort from Kings XI Punjab nullified Kolkata's individual contributions to pull off a surprising 4 run win over the defending champions at the PCA stadium in Mohali as KXIP picked up their second win of the season.

Sunil Narine's hat-trick, the tenth overall in the IPL and Gautam Gambhir's 60 runs from just 39 balls were overpowered by a late hurricane from Manpreet Gony lower down the Punjab innings and a tidy effort with the ball by Azhar Mahmood and Praveen Kumar. The sea-saw battle witnessed the momentum shift in favour of the Knight Riders quite a few times but the Punjab seamers held their nerve in the final moments of the game to hand Kolkata another frustrating loss.

Gautam Gambhir on winning the toss decided to chase against a Punjab side, that had made a few changes to their squad in order to strengthen their batting which had failed to bat through the 20 overs in their last two outings. David Miller came in for Rajagopal Sathish which meant Ryan Harris would sit out as Manpreet Gony got his first game of the season. For the Kolkata Knight Riders, an injured Laxmi Ratan Shukla made way for Debabrata Das.

The Punjab innings was centered around Mandeep Singh's effort of 41 runs from 30 balls, who played delightful strokes even as he kept losing partners at the other end. Adam Gilchrist (7) and Manan Vohra(17) lost out on the opportunity of scoring big on a seemingly good batting track while David Miller (20) failed to capitalize on a steady start.

But it was the mystery spinner Sunil Narine who did the real damage by claiming the first hat trick of IPL-6. Narine claimed the wickets of David Hussey(12), Azhar Mahmood(0) and Gurkeerat Singh(0) on three successive deliveries of his second over to leave KXIP reeling at 99 for 6 in the 15th over. Manpreet Gony helped Punjab regain some of the lost ground with an astonishingly destructive innings of 42 from 18 deliveries, clobbering the hat rick hero Narine for 23 runs in his last over as Punjab zipped to 157 for 9 from their 20 overs.

The Kings XI Punjab had a dream start to the second half with a couple of early strikes as Praveen Kumar dismissed Manvinder Bisla for a first ball duck while Azhar Mahmood sent back Jacques Kallis (1) in the next over to reduce Kolkata to 1 for 2. But what followed was a remarkable display of batting as skipper Gautam Gambhir, who continued his good run with a 39 ball 60, joined hands with Eoin Morgan(47) to post a 105 run partnership from 71 balls for the third wicket as KKR looked set to pocket two points.

However, the Punjab pacers pulled things back with useful strikes in quick succession with Gambhir falling to Man of the Match Gony, caught behind. Eoin Morgan was then deceived by a slower ball from Azhar Mahmood before the Punjab side ran through the lower middle order with Tiwary(1) and Das(1) failing to make a telling contribution. In no time, the visitors were reduced from 104 for 2 to 124 for 6. Rajat Bhatia(16) swung his arms for two sixes and Yusuf Pathan (13) provided precious boundaries late in the innings to raise hopes for Kolkata but a brilliant last over by Praveen Kumar ensured that the Knight Riders fell short by 4 runs.

The win should do a lot to boost Punjab's confidence going into their next challenge against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday, while the struggling Knight Riders will have ample time to sort out their weaknesses before they welcome Chennai on Saturday to the Eden Gardens.


Kings XI Punjab : A Gilchrist(c/wk), M Singh, M Vohra, D Hussey, D Miller, A Mahmood, G Singh, M Gony, P Chawla, P Kumar, P Awana

Kolkata Knight Riders : G Gambhir(c), M Bisla(wk), J Kallis, M Tiwary, Y Pathan, E Morgan, D Das, R Bhatia, S Senanayake, L Balaji, S Narine

Mini Scorecard

Kings XI Punjab 157/9 (20 Overs, 7.85 rpo)

M Gony 42(18) J Kallis 3-24

M Singh 41(30) S Narine 3-33

Kolkata Knight Riders 153/9 (20 Overs, 7.65 rpo)

G Gambhir 60(39) A Mahmood 3-21

E Morgan 48(37) P Kumar 2-26

Punjab won by 4 runs