Indian Premier League, 2021 |Match 45 |10/1/2021 Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
That's a wrap to this nerve-wracking game. Super Saturday is going to be full of excitement. Two games coming your way - Mumbai vs Delhi at 2 pm local (10 am GMT) followed by the clash between Rajasthan and Chennai at 6 pm local (2 pm GMT). We look forward to your company for all the action. Cheers!
KL Rahul, the skipper of Punjab, IS THE PLAYER OF THE MATCH! He says that they are used to close finishes and he will take the two points. Adds that they played this game smartly and they realized early that it was a decent wicket. Mentions that they went slightly defensive with the ball, as the ball was coming onto the bat nicely. Tells that he would want to finish the games and feels that this win will give them a lot of confidence. On Harpreet Brar's exclusion, KL replies that these things kill him as a skipper and he says that they kept him out with a heavy heart as Gayle was out of the bubble and they needed to chop things up. On Shahrukh Khan, Rahul says that he has worked really hard with the coaches and in the nets and he is somebody who can finish games. Hopes that he can continue the same. Shares that the talk in the dressing room has been to not worry about the results and there is no point in putting unnecessary pressure on themselves.
The hero of the evening, Shahrukh Khan is in for a chat! He says that it was important that there was a set batsman when he walked in so that he could go from ball one and it worked out for them in the end. On his winning shot, Khan replies that he thought that he hit it well and thought it would go past the ropes. Feels that he was brave enough to play that shot. Tells that when he goes in such situations, he just looks to pick the gaps well. Mentions that they needed 3 wins on the trot and they have started off well here. Hopes that they will carry forward this into the next game too.
Eoin Morgan, the Kolkata skipper, says that they did not field too well and they put catches down and it has cost them. Adds that they fought hard and batted well too and had a par score on this deck. On the catch of KL Rahul that was ruled not out, Eoin says that he thought it was out in real-time but the third umpire has a look at that in slow motion and he has the final call. Adds that it would have been nice to get that wicket. Tells that it was not an easy pitch to start on and Rana played very well and cashed in when necessary, but towards the end, they failed to capitalize on the platform that was set. On Venkatesh Iyer, Morgan says that his attitude is fantastic and he plays very fearlessly with the bat and takes responsibility with the ball too. States that they have played some great cricket in the second half of the tournament and they will fight hard in the remaining two games.
Earlier in the evening, Kolkata put up a decent batting show on a slowish surface. Venkatesh Iyer was once again the chief contributor with the bat for them and their batting innings revolved around him. Kolkata didn't manage to get a big finish and that in a way stopped them from having 15-20 runs extra on the board. In this close finish, those runs could have proved to be handy.
There were plenty of moments in this game but one worth mentioning is the catch of KL Rahul that was claimed by Rahul Tripathi but was not given by the third umpire in the 19th over. Tripathi felt he had his fingers wrapped under the ball but the third umpire thought otherwise. The match was evenly poised then and had Punjab lost Rahul then, it could have put the cat among the pigeons. The Punjab skipper fetched a boundary on the last ball of that over to bring down the equation to 5 runs. After that, there was another moment when Rahul departed on the second ball of the final over with Punjab needing 4 to win. Tension was high in the camp but Shahrukh Khan emerged as the hero for them and sent one over the fence for the winning runs. Even that winning moment was full of drama as Rahul Tripathi fumbled a catch to parry the ball over the line. What a game! What a finish!
This match was full of drama! Not for the faint-hearted. It was the same script for Punjab in the chase but this one had a happy ending. Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul combined at the top for the umpteenth time for them to lay a strong platform. Agarwal departed but KL was determined to carry on. He has seen his team choke in the past and took full responsibility in this crunch game. KL needed partners and got one able one in Aiden Markram. Together they stitched 45 runs to keep the chase steady but when things started to look in control, the South African fell to Sunil Narine. Punjab have struggled in closing the games but with the experience of KL Rahul in the middle, they were upbeat. The skipper didn't disappoint as he navigated through those nervous moments to take Punjab on the brink of victory.
Phew! What a thrilling end to this game! A telling blow from the bat of Shahrukh Khan to take down Shahrukh Khan-owned Kolkata! Punjab nearly choked in another chase. They have made a habit of making simple situations tricky. This victory for Punjab means now there are three teams with 10 points on the table, fighting for a spot in the playoffs. The league stage of this season is heading towards a mouth-watering finish.
Venkatesh Iyer to Shahrukh Khan, DROPPED AND SIX! Oh wow! What a way to get the win for Punjab. It was very close between these two but KL Rahul's team has edged forward in this clash. It could have been another wicket but the fumble from the fielder in the deep means that Kolkata end up on the losing side. This is bowled slightly shorter, around off, Shahrukh Khan pumps this one hard towards the deep mid-wicket region, Rahul Tripathi in the deep, runs across to his left, takes the catch too but fumbles and drops the ball past the ropes. PUNJAB WIN BY 5 WICKETS!
Fabian Allen is in next but he will be at the non-striker's end.
Venkatesh Iyer to KL Rahul, OUT! TAKEN! What have you done, Rahul? He loses his wicket at the absolute wrong time and Punjab's fate is still on a hinge. KL put in all the hard yards but he is unable to close the game out for his team. Around off and middle, on a length, not a lot of pace to work with for KL, who moves to the leg side and lofts this one towards long off. Shivam Mavi pouches this one safely in the deep. 4 needed from 4 balls!
Venkatesh Iyer to Shahrukh Khan, Outside off, on a length, Khan looks to slap it away but gets the toe-end of the bat to short third man for one. 4 needed from 5 now.
END OF OVER 19 | 10 Runs & 0 Wkt | Punjab Kings 161/4
Who will bowl the final over? All the frontline bowlers of Kolkata have completed their spells. Will it be Venkatesh Iyer or Nitish Rana? It's Venkatesh Iyer.
Shivam Mavi to KL Rahul, FOUR! Not how Mavi would have wanted to end the over and now, Punjab are very close to the finish line. A juicy full toss, around off, KL Rahul smacks this one over point and the ball bounces once, before going past the ropes. Just 5 more needed from the last 6 balls!
Shivam Mavi to Shahrukh Khan, Full this time, on off, jammed out through the mid on region for one.
Shivam Mavi to KL Rahul, A full toss, around off, KL eases this one down to long on for a single.
Shivam Mavi to KL Rahul, NOT OUT! A lifeline for Rahul and he will be hoping to make it count and take his team past the line. Another slower ball this time, around off, on a length, KL Rahul anticipates this one well and goes back, waits, and then thumps this one to the deep mid-wicket region. As soon as he has hit that, you know that it does not have enough to cross the ropes. Rahul Tripathi runs ahead from the deep, dives forward, gets his hands down and takes this one superbly. The on-field umpires just want to ensure that this is a clean catch as it could have bounced before he took it, or his hands could not have been underneath the ball when he took it. The TV umpire has a look at the replays and asks for different angles as it is hard to really make a decision based on one viewing. After having a few looks, the TV umpire feels that the ball was touching the ground. The batsmen didn't cross and it's a dot ball.
Is it caught? If it is, that would be a brilliant catch from Rahul Tripathi. KL Rahul is going nowhere. Tripathi is claiming the catch. The umpires get together and refer it upstairs. The replays are not looking conclusive. The third umpire is watching numerous angles. Has Rahul Tripathi got his fingers under the ball? NO! This is a big call. The third umpire feels that the ball has touched the ground. KL survives.
Shivam Mavi to KL Rahul, KL will feel like he missed out! A slower full toss, way outside off, Rahul gets low and looks to work this to the leg side but fails to connect.
Shivam Mavi to KL Rahul, EDGY FOUR! Fortune. Luck for KL and Punjab and this is a great start to the over. A full toss, around off, angling in, Rahul looks to drive it through the line, but the ball takes the outside edge, beats the short third man fielder's dive and runs away to the ropes.
END OF OVER 18 | 9 Runs & 0 Wkt | Punjab Kings 151/4
Tim Southee to KL Rahul, Around off this time, slower too, shortish, KL Rahul waits for it and then looks to cut. But, only manages a thin outside edge, which finds Dinesh Karthik on the bounce. DK fumbles and they take one. The short fine leg fielder misses his shy at the bowler's end and KL Rahul wants one more but Khan has overrun and he denies the extra run. 15 more needed from 12 balls.
Tim Southee to Shahrukh Khan, Slower, back of a length, around off, Khan taps this to backward point. Rahul wants one and Khan hesitates, then, charges through. The fielder has a shy at the non-striker's end but misses.