In a thrilling encounter at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) faced off against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the 53rd match of IPL 2023. After winning the toss, PBKS chose to bat first and posted a challenging total of 179/7 in their 20 overs.
The PBKS innings was anchored by their skipper Shikhar Dhawan, who top-scored with 57 runs off 47 deliveries. He was supported by Jitesh Sharma (21) and Shahrukh Khan (21), who played crucial knocks in the middle overs. KKR bowlers put in a disciplined performance, with right-arm spinner Varun Chakaravarthy being the pick of the bowlers, taking 3 wickets for 26 runs in his 4 overs.
Chasing a target of 180, KKR got off to a solid start, with opener Jason Roy (38) and captain Nitish Rana (51) smashing the ball in the powerplay. However, PBKS struck back with some quick wickets, including the prized scalp of KKR skipper in the 16th over of the second innings.
At 115/3 in the 14th over, KKR was in a spot of bother, but the explosive all-rounder Andre Russell (42 off 23) had other plans. He smashed the PBKS bowlers all around the park, hitting 3 fours and 3 sixes in his innings. He was well supported by Rinku Singh (21* off 10), who played a crucial cameo in the final overs.
Overall, the spin bowlers had a better performance than the pace bowlers in tonight’s match.
There was a clear difference in the performance of spin and pace bowlers. The spinners took 8 wickets, conceding 142 runs in 20 overs, with an economy rate of 7.10 runs per over.
On the other hand, the pace bowlers only took 3 wickets, conceding 211 runs in 20 overs, with an economy rate of 10.55 runs per over. This indicates that the spin bowlers were more effective in restricting the opposition’s run-scoring and taking wickets.
Spin bowlers were able to deceive the batsmen with their variations and create pressure, leading to more wickets falling. In contrast, the pace bowlers struggled to contain the opposition batsmen, and their lack of variation made it easier for the batsmen to score runs.
The Edens Gardens pitch was certainly a spinning track and the above fact raised the question, why did Harpreet Brar bowl only one over even after giving just four runs?
No doubt Arshdeep Singh bowled the last over brilliantly and almost defended 6 runs in the 20th over but left handed spinner Harpreet Brar should have bowled at least one extra over considering the pitch behavior .
In a nail-biting finish, KKR needed 2 runs off the final delivery of the innings, and left handed Rinku Singh held his nerve to hit a four on last delivery and seal a famous win for KKR. It was the sixth time in IPL 2023 that the chasing team won off the final delivery, highlighting the competitiveness of the tournament. This win also kept KKR’s hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive.
The Player of the Match award went to Andre Russell for his match-winning innings. With this victory, KKR moved up to fifth in the points table, while PBKS slided down to seventh. It was a thrilling encounter that kept the fans on the edge of their seats, and both teams deserve credit for putting up a great show.