New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings on Friday defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets at the Dubai International Stadium. The skipper himself led his team to the victory and scored 67 off 55 balls with decent support from Mayank Agarwal (40 off 27) and Sharukh Khan (22 off 9 balls). This win is crucial for the Punjab Kings as they are just behind KKR at fifth position on the points table and need to win every game in order to qualify for the playoffs.
Punjab Kings needed 24 runs in the last three overs and Rahul and Shahrukh Khan helped the side register a win over KKR despite a wobble in the last over. The Eoin Morgan-led side had come back into the game but Rahul's calm and composed knock helped Punjab Kings to walk away with two points.
Chasing 166, Punjab Kings got off to a good start as openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal scored 46 in the first six overs. Varun Chakravarthy drew the first blood. when he dismissed Mayank for 40 in the ninth over with Punjab Kings having scored 70 runs.
Chakravarthy then dismissed Nicholas Pooran for 12 in the 11th over to put Punjab Kings on backfoot. Aiden Markram and Rahul then stitched a 45-run stand however the South African batsman only scored 12 runs. Punjab Kings needed 57 runs from the last six overs and Rahul started the charge as he completed his fifty. Meanwhile, Sunil Narine removed Markram in the 16th over while Shivam Mavi dismissed Deepak Hooda in the 17th.
However, Rahul then along with Shahrukh Khan took Punjab Kings over the line with three balls to spare. Rahul was dismissed in the last over but Punjab Kings won the game courtesy, Shahrukh's six.
Earlier, a fine bowling performance from Punjab Kings in the second half restricted KKR to 165/7. Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi were dealing in boundaries and were on course to put on a mammoth total before Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh staged a comeback for Punjab Kings.
(With Agency Inputs)
Posted By: Subhasish Dutta