KXIP vs KKR: In one of the closest encounters of IPL 2020, Kolkata Knightriders pipped the back-benchers of the table in stunning fashion, coming up trumps by a niggling margin of 2 runs.
The game never looked like swinging in Kolkata’s favor the way the two Punjab openers batted. It was going to be a comfortable victory and there were smiles in the Punjab dugout.
To make matters easy for Punjab, KKR lost their best death-over specialist, Andre Russell, to a knee injury after he rolled up against the advertisement boards, miffing a catch of Rahul.
Just when things looked like all roses for KXIP, Prasidh Krishna dealt a telling blow to their aspirations, removing a set Mayank Agarwal.
Trying to choose the glory shot, he ended up holing to Shubman Gill in the long-on, instigating a slight glimmer of hope for Kolkata.
However, the hope fizzled out shortly with Pooran and Rahul settling themselves well at the crease. With Russell taken out of the equation, Karthik resorted to their most experienced campaigner for the 18th and the 20th over.
After conceding a single off the first ball, Narine removed Pooran with a skitter. Then walked in Prabhsimran Singh and that probably was the tipping point of the game.
However, to make matters worse, Prasidh Krishna bowled a brilliant penultimate over that saw him claiming Prabhsimran Singh with a pacey delivery and KL Rahul with a picture-perfect yorker.
The last over by Narine needed 14 runs and the Caribbean spinner sealed the fate of the game, conceding just 11 off it, chronicling a remarkable victory over KXIP.
Despite such a resonating performance with both bat and ball, there were certain minor leakages that kept on coming together to form one concrete stumbling block that Punjab couldn’t cross.
We would look at three reasons that cost Punjab the game.
Careless usage of Prabhsimran Singh
With 22 required off 18 balls, this was a no-brainer that Maxwell would have been the best choice considering the little or minimum effort that could have flicked the complexion of the game. Unfortunately, KXIP sent Prabhsmiran in the middle, who was daunted by Narine’s wily spin and ended up wasting the over. By the time he realized that he had to go for the kill, the damage was already done.
Mayank Agarwal’s brashness drove KXIP crazy
If Agarwal wouldn’t have been dismissed in the first place, the game was already won by Punjab. It was a comfortable situation that didn’t need any heroics at that very moment. Pumped by some invisible reason to go into hyper-drive he gave away his wicket and the rest was history, an infamous one.
Poor usage of Mujeeb Ur Rahman by KXIP
Mujeeb Ur Rahman is a proven match-winner and he is at his best with the new ball in the hand. Bringing him to bowl with a set Morgan at the crease was nothing short of foolishness. Despite, him being hammered in the exact same location, Rahul failed to use a proper field. Most importantly, he was used like a part-time spinner who was taken out by the KKR batsmen, making the transformation easier for them.