The Kolkata Knight Riders got back to winning ways after thrashing Kings XI Punjab by 31 runs in a match which witnessed some terrific batting performances.
It all started with Sunil Narine as he smashed his way to his IPL highest score of 75 runs off just 36 deliveries which helped Kolkata post a massive total of 245/6 on the board. Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell also contributed with fiery knocks of 50 and 31 runs respectively.
Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, stumbled in their chase losing early wickets. Although KL Rahul continued his rich vein of form with the bat scoring 66 runs off just 29 deliveries, he didn't get enough support from other batsmen. Aaron Finch and Ravichandran Ashwin tried their bests with scores of 34 and 45 runs respectively, but Punjab ultimately fell short of the target by 31 runs.
Let us now have a look at how the players performed in this match.
Sunil Narine - 10/10
Narine registered his highest ever IPL score at Indore having smashed 75 runs off just 36 deliveries. He was equally ruthless to both the spinners and the pacers as he kept sending them to the boundary. He used his feet to perfection against the spinners and also hit through the line well against the pacers. His innings was finally cut short in the 12th over of the innings by Andrew Tye who bowled a slower bouncer to induce a faint edge of Narine's willow, the ball going straight into the gloves of KL Rahul behind the wickets. Although he turned out to be expensive with the ball conceding 44 runs in his four overs, he picked up the crucial wicket of KL Rahul that sealed the victory for Kolkata.
Dinesh Karthik - 10/10
The Knight Riders skipper walked out to bat when they had lost Narine and Robin Uthappa in quick succession in the 12th over. From there on, he went on a rampage and started smashing everything to the boundary. He brought up his fifty in 22 deliveries and also stitched a partnership of 76 runs along with Andre Russell. He was finally dismissed in the last over off a slower delivery from Barinder Sran.
Andre Russell - 10/10
Russell was one of the standout performers of this match both with bat and ball. First, he played a crucial knock of 31 runs off just 14 deliveries and then came back with the ball later in the match to claim bowling figures of 3/24 from three overs. By claiming the likes of Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair, he broke the backbone of Punjab's batting line up.
KL Rahul - 9/10
Rahul continued his sublime run of form with the bat as he bludgeoned the Knight Riders bowlers from one end as wickets kept tumbling from the other. He smashed his way to a knock 66 runs off 29 deliveries which consisted of 7 humongous sixes and 2 fours before it was cut short by Narine in the ninth over of their innings.
Prasidh Krishna - 9/10
Krishna registered bowling figures of 2/31 in his four overs in a match when most of the established bowlers couldn't contain the batsmen. Both of his wickets came in the final over of the match as he sent Ravichandran Ashwin and Andrew Tye back to the dugout. He bowled consistent yorkers and mixed up his deliveries well to keep the batsmen guessing.
Andrew Tye - 8/10
Andrew Tye was taken for 41 runs in his four overs. But on a small ground like this he managed to pick up four wickets and foxed the batsmen on most occasions. His victims included the likes of Chris Lynn, Narine, Robin Uthappa and Russell and most of the runs that he conceded came off outside and inside edges. He also added 14 runs with the bat towards the end and added 53 runs for the 8th wicket along with Ashwin.
Aaron Finch - 7/10
Finch was included in the Punjab lineup at the expense of Marcus Stoinis. He looked threatening during his time at the crease as he scored 34 runs off 20 deliveries. However, he was dismissed trying to play a ramp shot of Javon Searles' bowling, only to hit it straight to Kuldeep Yadav at short fine leg.
Chris Lynn - 6/10
Lynn showed ominous touch with the bat once again as he was equally ruthless as Narine in the power play. However, luck didn't favour him once again as he played on to a delivery bowled by Andrew Tye just after hitting him for a six over his head. He departed for a good 17-ball knock of 27 runs after stitching an opening stand of 53 runs with Narine.
Robin Uthappa - 6/10
Uthappa picked up Lynn's pace of scoring quickly when he walked out to bat after the Australian departed. He smashed two sixes and one four in his brief knock of 24 runs off 17 deliveries before being dismissed by Tye in the 12th over of the innings.
Shubman Gill - 6/10
Gill walked out to bat at No 7 with two overs to go. He didn't take much time to get going as he smashed 16 runs in 8 deliveries and pushed Kolkata's total to a massive 245/6. His knock was necessary to push their total near to 250 after the likes of Russell and Karthik had departed.
Ravichandran Ashwin - 6/10
Ashwin bowled 2.4 overs but couldn't produce anything special with the ball as he got smashed for 36 runs. He was taken to the cleaners by every batsman and didn't look like dominating any of them. However, he played a captain's knock with the bat and scored 45 runs off just 22 balls before being dismissed in the final over.
Nitish Rana - 5/10
Rana walked out to bat after Russell's departure towards the end of Kolkata's innings. He started off with a six and followed it up with a single and a four before being dismissed off the next delivery. Although his stay at the crease lasted just 4 deliveries, he scored 11 valuable runs without wasting any time and deliveries.
Chris Gayle - 5/10
Gayle didn't look at his best today. He got a life once when Karthik dropped him off a difficult chance. But he couldn't make it count and was ultimately caught behind by Karthik off a short delivery from Russell for just 21 runs scored in 17 deliveries, that too in a high-pressure match.
Kuldeep Yadav - 4/10
Kuldeep did go for 29 runs in his two overs but he built up pressure with some dot deliveries and also picked up the wicket of Axar Patel. Moreover, he was the one who took a good catch at short fine leg to send Finch back to the pavilion.
Piyush Chawla - 4/10
In a match where bowlers got smashed away to the boundaries on numerous occasions, Piyush Chawla gave Kolkata two precious overs in which he conceded just 16 runs. It might not look that big a feat but this small contribution was extremely important in the context of the game.
Javon Searles - 3/10
Searles came into the Kolkata team today ahead of Mitchell Johnson and Tom Curran. He finished off Kolkata's innings nicely with a six off the final delivery of their innings. He proved to be quite expensive with the ball conceding 52 runs in 4 overs. But he picked up the important wicket of Finch who was looking good to take the game deep for Punjab.
Mohit Sharma - 2/10
Mohit Sharma conceded 40 runs in his four overs and didn't look like troubling the batsmen at all. The only wicket that he managed to pick up was that of Nitish Rana with a well bowled slower ball.
Axar Patel - 2/10
Axar Patel turned out to be the most expensive of the Punjab bowlers. He conceded 52 runs in his four overs and there wasn't any part of the ground he wasn't hit to. With the bat too, he could only manage 19 runs off 11 deliveries batting at No 5 and hence couldn't help his team's cause at all.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman - 1/10
The young Afghan spinner wasn't able to perform well with the ball. Although Narine got dismissed off his bowling in the previous match, he took a liking to Mujeeb's bowling today. The bowler was out of the ground for a long time after being struck in the hands by a fierce drive from Narine. His over was completed by Ravichandran Ashwin and even though he came back to bowl, he got smashed once again and ended up conceding 28 runs in 2.2 overs.
Barinder Sran - 1/10
Sran was once again given an opportunity to show his skills in this match, but he turned out to be expensive yet again as he leaked 48 runs in three overs at an economy rate of 16.00. The wicket of Karthik in the final over of Kolkata's innings was the only consolation he got.
Mayank Agarwal - 1/10
Agarwal continued his poor IPL season and was out for a golden duck today. It was Russell again who accounted for his wicket.
Karun Nair - 1/10
Nair's form has tapered off after he scored a fifty in their opening match of the tournament. He has hardly looked comfortable at the crease in the last couple of matches and was dismissed today for just 3 runs by Russell.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor