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June 22 2017, 10:18 | Van Peters
The visitors were put in to bat by Kolkata and they were soon struggling as Sunil Narine, debutant Colin de Grandhomme and Piyush Chawla picked up the wickets of Marcus Stoinis, Hashim Amla and Manan Vohra respectively.
The left-hander has been a regular feature in the last nine editions of the IPL, and he has already showed his class with two half-centuries, including his 49-ball 72 against KXIP, in three matches this season. Punjab had rocketed to 53/0 after 5 and much of it was down to KKR's idiocy.
The good news for the home team is the availability of in-form Umesh. Kings XI Punjab is looking strong on the paper as usual, but it still has to do well to prove its worth like it did in 2014.
Captain Maxwell (25), David Miller (28), wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha (25) and Axar Patel (0) were the victims of the 29-year-old Maharashtra-born bowler. But Rohit is in trouble to take a wicket.
Boult's luck " If only you guys could catch something".
Sunil Narine coming out as an opener was truly out of syllabus for KXIP. Through Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah, MI bowled a few yorkers, but that did nothing to help gain runs. They ran four and Boult was left mouthing expletives as he walked off, conceding 36 off his four overs.
As Narine's quickfire innings guided KKR to a smooth start fans hailed the West Indies spinner for his valuable knock.
KKR's ploy to promote Narine as an opener clicked. Yes, that's exactly what happened.
Lynn' absence would mean Robin Uthappa would be back to opening and his prolonged lean patch is a cause of concern for the home team.
And Narine's batting was.wait for it.legendary!
Just when the pair looked good for a decent opening wicket stand, Chawla - in his very first ball - broke their 53-run association with a googly that went through Vohra's defence. KKR put on 76/1 in 6 overs, their highest score in the Powerplay. The two-time champions will still be hurting from their narrow defeat to the Mumbai Indians on Saturday night after setting a target of 179.
Gambhir rolls onCaptain Consistent.
While Lynn looks doubtful starter against KXIP, KKR, however, will be boasted by the return of star India pacer Umesh Yadav who has joined the team yesterday.
From there it was all about Gambhir, who moved above David Warner at the top of the run-scoring charts on his way to a 33rd IPL fifty - two behind Warner in a ranking that the Australian remains atop.