Mohali: Young Shubman Gill scored an unbeaten 65 and shared a blistering 62-run stand for the opening wicket with Chriss Lynn (46) as Kolkata Knight Riders got the better of Kings XI Punjab by seven wickets here on Friday.
The defeat ended Punjab’s hopes of making it to the play-offs as they are pushed to seventh spot with 10 points in 13 matches.
Knight Riders, on the other hand, are in contention for the final qualifying spot with 12 points in 13 matches. KKR will take on Mumbai Indians on Sunday.
Shubman showed maturity beyond years. Chasing a target of 184, the 19-year-old Gill showed his range on his ‘home turf’ with an attractive 65 not out off 49 balls, anchoring the chase.
Not only did KKR reach the target in 18 overs but they also improved the net run-rate. Lynn was dismissed after hitting five fours and two sixes. Robin Uthappa (22, 14 ablls) looked good but didn't stay long enough even as Gill, who hit five fours and two sixes carried on with minimum fuss. Earlier, youngsters Sam Curran and Nicholas Pooran displayed belligerence as Kings XI Punjab put on a respectable 183 for 6 against Kolkata Knight Riders in a must-win IPL game here on Friday.
While the West Indian Pooran smashed 48 off 27 balls to give the innings initial impetus as he added 69 runs for the third wicket with Mayank Agarwal (36 off 26 balls), Englishman Curran walloped KKR bowlers to smash an unbeaten 55 off 24 balls to take the score past 180-run mark.
For KKR, fast bowler Sandeep Warrier (2/31) was the most impressive as he removed the opening pair of Chris Gayle (14 off 14 balls) and KL Rahul (2 off 7 balls) in quick succession. However Pooran again showed his big-hitting prowess, hitting four sixes apart from three boundaries as he found an able partner in Agarwal.
Pooran was unlucky to miss out on a fifty as he was holed out in the deep mid-wicket region trying to hit a Nitish Rana half-tracker for six.
Once Agarwal and later Mandeep Singh (25) got out, it seemed that KXIP will have to settle for less than 170 but Curran had other ideas as 32 runs came off the last two overs. In the 19th over, Curran hit Andre Russell for a couple of boundaries, before launching into countrymate Harry Gurney, hitting him for 22 runs, which included three fours and a big six. In all, Curran hit seven fours and two sixes....