KKR break losing streak

MOHALI: Eventually, it turned out to be a hopelessly one-sided contest between an inspired Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and a progressively indifferent Kings XI Punjab. The visiting Knight Riders snapped their three-game losing streak to post a morale-boosting 39-run victory.

The result put Knight Riders back in contention for a place in the semi-finals. The hero of Knight Riders’s victory was Manoj Tiwary. The right-hander’s unbeaten 75 eclipsed skipper Sourav Ganguly’s first 50 in 16 innings in the competition. Tiwary also took a brilliant diving catch to send back Yuvraj Singh and further dampen Punjab’s spirits. Tiwary was associated in a 79-run stand with Ganguly for the third wicket.

Once Knight Riders made the most of winning the toss by raising 183-5, it was always going to be difficult for Punjab. Once they lost wickets upfront, the writing was on the wall. In fact, the result was a foregone conclusion much before it became official.

After in-form Ravi Bopara fell to Shane Bond in the first over, a struggling Yuvraj failed once again, this time as an opener.Later, when skipper Kumar Sangakkara fell, stumped brilliantly by Wriddhiman Saha in the 15th over, Kinght Riders were almost sure of victory.

The defeat added to the woes of Punjab who banked heavily on the return of Brett Lee. Lee failed to make an impression in his first match this season though he did take two catches. Irfan Pathan and Shalabh Srivastav took two wickets each for Punjab.