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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

IPL 2018: Kolkata Knight Riders unseat Kings XI Punjab with season-highest score

Half centuries from Sachil Narine and captain Dinesh Karthik helped Kolkata Knight Riders post the fourth-highest total in Indian Premier League history

Kolkata Knight Riders' teammates congratulate Dinesh Karthik, left, and Shubman Gill, second right. Bikas Das / AP Photo
Kolkata Knight Riders' teammates congratulate Dinesh Karthik, left, and Shubman Gill, second right. Bikas Das / AP Photo

Half centuries from Sunil Narine and captain Dinesh Karthik helped Kolkata Knight Riders post the fourth-highest total in Indian Premier League history as Kings XI Punjab came up short on Saturday.

After being put into bat by Kings XI, Kolkata made a slow start to proceedings, Chris Lynn and Narine scoring only 20 runs off the first 20 balls, but an injury to Mujeeb Ur Rahman after West Indian opener Narine drove the ball hard back at him forced the Kings XI bowler off the field and the momentum swung Kolkata's way.

Lynn (27) and Narine (75) shared an opening 53-run stand before the former was bowled by Andrew Tye and Narine would later join him when he fell to a short ball off Tye in the 12th over.

There were important contributions too from Robin Uthappa (24) as well as Andre Russell (31), who in tandem with Karthik blasted five sixes and six fours in a devastating spell in the death overs. It was Karthik's first half-century in this season's tournament. End-overs cameos from Nitish Rana (11) and Shubman Gill (16 not out) helped Kolkata post 245-6 off their 20 overs.

Australian fast bowler Nye was the pick of the Kings XI attack, finishing with figures of 4-41.

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Chasing 246, Kings XI were even more dependent on their openers than usual. KL Rahul kept them hoping with a 29-ball 66, but by the time he was dismissed in the ninth over, the batsmen at the other end had only made 27-3 off 25 balls.

With Aaron Finch falling to a catch from Kuldeep Yadav at short fine leg off the bowling of Javon Searles, a batting line up that had Axar Patel in at No 6 always looked a hitter too short.

And so it proved. Kings XI didn't quite have the batting to chase 153 off the last 11 overs, and though there was some furious hitting from Finch and Ravichandran Ashwin towards the end, it was never going to be enough.