Rahul Tewatia with Glenn Maxwell    BCCI
Rahul Tewatia with Glenn Maxwell BCCI

Had Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Tuesday night, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) would have breathed easy. However, that was not the case, as KXIP kept their hopes alive of qualifying for IPL 10 playoffs, winning match 49 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 by 14 runs. KXIP produced an all-round display of cricket and got the better of a team which has dangerous skills. Chris Lynn struck runs once again, but his innings was the only bright spot for KKR. Let us take a look at the highlights. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), IPL 10 Match 49

An ordinary start: A loss would have meant end of the road for Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday, but that was not the case, as the team did well to remain in contention. However, an ordinary start to the contest put tremendous amount of pressure on Kings XI Punjab, whose top order was blown away for cheap. Manan Vohra was the best among the top three, not shying away to play his strokes to make 25. On the other hand, Martin Guptill fell for 12 and Shaun Marsh flopped as well, scoring a mere 11.

Glenn Maxwell breathes life into KXIP: Having lost the top three with nothing significant on the board, the entire pressure fell over the shoulders of Maxwell, who was required to bail his side out of trouble. The KXIP captain stood tall at just the right moment, scoring 44 off 25 balls with 4 sixes and 1 four. He added 71 runs with Wriddhiman Saha (38) to lay a strong platform for a competitive score, which Kings XI Punjab eventually achieved by putting up 167 for 6 at the end of 20 overs.

Rahul Tewatia s all-round show: Mohit Sharma may have been awarded with the Man of the Match award, but for more than one reason, the deserving winner was Tewatia. Playing his first game of the season, Tewatia turned up as a man on a mission. He cracked 3 boundaries late in KXIP s innings to score 15 not out off 8 balls, which eventually turned out to be the difference. This was not all, as Tewatia returned with the figures of 4-0-18-2, claiming the wickets of Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa within over.

Lynnsanity continues: With scores of 93*, 32, 50 and 84 on Tuesday night, Lynn has showcased his consistency as well as firepower to excel in this format. He was brutal once again, hitting the ball long and hard with sheer power. He remained KKR s biggest hopes as the others flopped, and his dismissal sealed a victory for KXIP. Lynn faced 52 balls to score 84, studded with 8 fours and 3 sixes.

KKR s poor show: The biggest reason for KKR s defeat was the failure of the middle order. While Uthappa fell for a first-ball duck, Gambhir scored 8 off 18 balls, and Manish Pandey struggled throughout and crawled to 23-ball 18. This was not all. Yusuf Pathan was dismissed for 2, whereas Colin de Grandhomme managed 11 not out.

Mohit Sharma s brilliance: The right-arm seamer earned the Man of the Match award in a contest when there were other strong contenders in Maxwell and Tewatia. However, he played a crucial role in putting tremendous pressure on KKR. He bowled 2 overs in the death and gave away a mere 7 and 9 runs respectively. Mohit used his bowling skills in best manner possible, mixing the off-cutters, back-of-the-hand deliveries as well as the knuckle ball to perfection.

KXIP s improvement: In their previous game, losing composure was perhaps one of the reasons of KXIP s loss. However, there was a remarkable improvement seen on all fronts, as none of their players lost temper or made errors in the field. The fielding was top-notch with Akshar Patel being a key figure, whereas Maxwell and his bowlers did well to keep focus on the ultimate goal.