Punjab Kings’ KL Rahul plays a shot during their IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday. Courtesy: IPL website
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Answering critics of his cautious batting, KL Rahul guided Punjab Kings to a thrilling five-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL match in Dubai on Friday.
The victory helped Punjab kept their hopes alive for a play-off place.
Earlier, batting first, KKR looked set for a big total in Dubai with Venkatesh Iyer hitting 67 off 49 balls but Punjab bowlers restricted them to 165 for 7.
In reply, Punjab the openers made a good start before Mayank Agarwal departed for 40, caught at cover by Morgan -- having dropped him in the first over -- off Varun Chakravarthy.
Nicholas Pooran fell for 12, Aiden Markram for 18 and Deepak Hooda for three but Rahul held his nerve with a commanding 67 off 55 balls.
Rahul looked out with 10 balls left but Rahul Tripathi, taking what appeared to be a spectacular diving catch, was adjudged by the third umpire to have grounded the ball.
Rahul was finally caught a few balls later.
With four needed off four, Shahrukh Khan heaved the ball to the fence where Tripathi fumbled it over the rope.
"I think catches cost us," Morgan said afterwards.
Punjab and are lying at the sixth spot in the table behind Kolkata and Mumbai Indians, who have 12 points each. Punjab are out of the race virtually but mathematically they can still make it to the play offs.
Delhi Capitals will look to extend the winning momentum and inch closer to a play-ff berth with a victory against a resilient Rajasthan Royals.
Kolkata will look to consolidate their position in the top-half with a victory against Punjab. At the same, Punjab can also leapfrog both Kolkata and Mumbai, if they can register a big win.
Boosted after their brilliant performance in the 10-wicket win over arch-rivals India on Sunday, Pakistan were this time led by fast bowler Haris Rauf who finished with 4-22.
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