IPL 2018: Russell, Narine stars as KKR beat Gayle's Kings XI Punjab

IPL 2018 Struggling Kolkata Knight Riders Meet Kings XI Punjab In Must Win Game

The match will be played in Indore

Narine was once again their match-winner for his stellar knock and also getting the important wicket of the risky Rahul, who has now completed 500 runs in this IPL.

Dinesh Karthik slammed 50 in 23 balls against Kings XI Punjab. Bowling was hard on the wicket and the hot weather added further misery to the bowlers. He dared to bowl the short ball, after being hammered by Gayle, and got rid of both him and Mayank Agarwal (for a golden duck) in successive deliveries. They are now tied with KXIP at 12 points.

The clean-hitting duo both cleared the ropes three times and debutant Javon Searles hit his one and only ball for six over long on to finish off a devastating KKR batting performance in style.

Twitter was in awe of the ball-striking by the KKR batsmen. Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine opened the innings and got off to a blistering start.

Lynn looked tentative from the outset, nearly chopping the ball onto his stumps in only the second and third ball of the match off Mohit Sharma. The West Indian marauder blasted his way to 75 from 36.

West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell, who scored a brisk 31 off 14, took two wickets in two balls, while Narine removed the risky Lokesh Rahul (66 off 29) as Kolkata poured cold water on Punjab's ambitious run-chase.

Punjab have three games left and will play Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings respectively in their remaining matches.

R Ashwin's men have been too reliant on their openers Chris Gayle and KL Rahul and the vulnerable, out-of-form middle order has been a big cause for concern.

KXIP bowling unit, has been top class. While 19 runs came off Axar Patel's 15th over, Mujeeb Ur Rahman was taken for 21 runs in the next. After making winning start to the season, KKR has constantly failed to carry on the winning momentum.

To do that, it will have to do a lot better than what it did in its last home match, in which KKR was thrashed by 102 runs.

The form of openers Sunil Narine and Chrius Lynn will be crucial for the away side.

Fellow Jamaican Russell accounted for Gayle in the sixth over, getting the left-hander to edge a pull through to the keeper, and his dismissal saw Kings XI slide to 119 for five in the 12th over as the Caribbean trio of Narine, Searles and Narine scythed through the middle order.

In the bowling department pacers Prasidh Krishna has been impressive and once again KKR will berelying on him to bowl well.

The match is scheduled to begin at 4:00 PM IST. Well, the belligerent batting display of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on a 45-degree Saturday afternoon in Indore, has been a ideal testament to this old saying.

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