Kolkata Knight Riders go down fighting to Kings XI Punjab(Lead)

May 4th, 2008 - 1:55 am ICT by admin  

Mohali (Punjab), May 4 (IANS) Kolkata Knight Riders almost made a match out of a virtually lost cause in their encounter with home team Kings XI Punjab, losing by nine runs in their Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 encounter here Saturday night. The Kolkata team, which did not seem to be in the match from the moment they stepped in at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium to chase a target of 179 runs, suddenly found themselves close to a win, thanks to some late gusty play by David Hussey (71 runs from 46 balls, 4 sixes) and ample support from W.P. Saha (59 not out from 32 balls, 4 sixes).

Their sixth wicket partnership saw them scoring 100 runs from just 52 balls. It ended in the penultimate over when Hussey holed up one to James Hopes from Gagandeep Singh.

Both batsmen ensured that they made a match out of it after their side was virtually on the floor with four wickets gone for just 29 runs in less than five overs. The top Kolkata batsmen failed to impress in the beginning with skipper Sourav Ganguly departing for just five runs.

The Knight Riders required an average score of 18 runs per over in the last three overs but Hussey and Saha did not give up easily.

A late last over flood of runs - 21 to be precise from just seven balls - by spinner Piyush Chawla from speedster Ishant Sharma took the Mohali team to a respectable 178 runs for the loss of six wickets in their 20 overs.

Australian Shaun Marsh again came good for the Kings XI side, scoring 40 runs from 32 balls. It was his heroics that had seen his team beat Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad Thursday.

None of the Kolkata bowlers excelled Saturday with only Umar Gul returning with figures of two wickets for 27 runs from four overs.

Mohali fast bowlers Sreesanth (4 overs, 2/25), Irfan Pathan (4 overs, 2/18) and V.R.V. Singh kept the Kolkata top order on a tight leash. While the Kolkata side kept losing wickets, their scoring never picked up.

At one stage, for almost five overs, the Knight Riders could not even score a boundary. Their only hope was sustained by Hussey and Saha who kept up the scoring from both ends.

While this is the fourth successive win for the Mohali side, the Kolkata side recorded their fourth straight loss.

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