KKR beats PBKS by 5 wickets

Rinku Singh added another bright chapter to his legend as a ”finisher” with a last-ball boundary as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Punjab Kings by five wickets on Monday to keep their IPL play-off hopes alive. It was a complete ‘RRR’ show by KKR as skipper Nitish Rana’s half-century and Andre Russell adding muscle to the chase of 180 enabled Rinku to finish off the game with a 10-ball-21 not out. Earlier, Varun Chakravarthy once again brilliantly spearheaded their bowling department to grab 3/26 as KKR put up a tidy bowling show to restrict PBKS to a below-par 179 for seven after the visitors opted to bat on a slow wicket. In reply, KKR show batting show was led by Rana’s stellar effort when he promoted himself to No 3 and laid the foundation with a 38-ball 51 (6×4, 1×6). On a wicket where the odd ball was gripping and batters struggled to find their timings, Rana stiched a crucial fifty-plus stand with Venkatesh Iyer (11) before Andre Russell and Rinku Singh sealed the issue. Needing 56 off 28 balls after Rana became Rahul Chahar’s second victim, Russell went ballistic against Sam Curran smoking him for three sixes in four balls in a 20-run over to change the equation in favour of KKR who needed six off the last over. But death over specialist Arshdeep Singh who had six to defend took it down the wire with four off first four balls. Arshedeep has often floundered of late failing to nail his yorkers. There was more drama when Russell was ran out in the penultimate ball as a calm-headed Rinku Singh (21 not out; 10b) once again came to KKR’s rescue sealing the win with a boundary off the last ball. The duo off Russell and Rinku put together a matchwinning 54 runs partnership from 26 balls. Their second win in a row pushed KKR (-0.079) past Royal Challengers Bangalore (-0.209) to top-five on net run-rate as five teams are locked a mid table rush for playoff with 10 points. Chahar bowled a brilliant 10th over conceding just three runs to have them 76/2 at the half-way stage as the