Manvinder Bisla, Eoin Morgan take Kolkata Knight Riders to comfortable win over Kings XI Punjab

Eoin Morgan smashed 42 off just 26 balls to help Kolkata Knight Riders to a much-needed win © IANS (File Photo)

Kolkata: Apr 26, 2013
 
Kolkata Knight Riders cruised to a comfortable six-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Eden Gardens Friday after an aggressive 72-run partnership between Manvinder Bisla (51 not out off 44 balls) and Eoin Morgan (42 off 26 balls).

The result, however, did not have any effect on the points table with both Kolkata and Punjab staying put to their seventh and fifth positions, respectively.
 
Defending a none-too-imposing 150, Azhar Mahmood’s first over — the second of the innings — wasn’t off to the best of starts after Mandeep Singh dropped a sitter at cover to give Bisla another life. However, Mahmood was to be rewarded with double the number of wickets the same over, as he cleaned up Gautam Gambhir before getting Yusuf Pathan to edge to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist first ball.
 
It was a perfect start for the visitors, who didn’t have too big a total on the board to defend. However, Bisla ensured he made optimum use of his extra life and took the attack to Punjab, bringing out a delightful brochure of shots including a cover-drive six.
 
Along with veteran batsman Jacques Kallis, who went about his usual classy innings, Bisla went about ticking the runs off Kolkata’s target briskly and the hosts were on their way to an easy win. The duo put on 66 for the third wicket before Harmeet Singh came into the attack in the 11th over. The medium-pacer has a knack of breaking partnerships, and he did just that as he got Kallis to edge to the ‘keeper and provide Punjab a vital breakthrough. Kallis fell for a well-made 33-ball 37.
 
The ever-reliable Morgan walked in next and was given a huge reprieve after an attempted reverse-sweep almost proved fatal. Morgan missed the pitch of leg-spinner Piyush Chawla’s delivery completely as the ball kissed the stumps and rolled away, but the bails stayed on top. None of the 11 Punjab players could believe it, especially skipper Gilchrist who got the closest view.
 
Morgan then combined with Bisla and powered his team towards what would turn out to be a comfortable win. Morgan was dropped on 30 with the score at 127 for three in the 17th over by Bhargav Bhatt, but it would hardly have made a difference given the confidence with which Kolkata batted.

With 15 runs to win off the last three overs, Morgan went for the theatrics and tried to finish it off with three huge sixes; he got just two before holing out to Gurkeerat Singh in the deep. Of course, it was too little too late for Punjab by then.

Read first-innings report here.
 
Brief Scores: Kings XI Punjab 149 for 6 in 20 overs (Manan Vohra 31, Gurkeerat Singh 28*; Jacques Kallis 2 for 14, Rajat Bhatia 1 for 17, Sarabjit Ladda 1 for 18) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 150 for 4 in 18.2 overs (Manvinder Bisla 51*, Eoin Morgan 42, Jacques Kallis 37; Azhar Mahmood 3 for 35) by 6 wickets.

Man of the Match: Jacques Kallis

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