If Twenty20 is all about big-hitting, Kings XI Punjab have a terrifying trio at the top. Adam Gilchrist, Paul Valthaty and Shaun Marsh now spell ominous for any opposition when whispered in the same breath. Only, they were on another Eden Special on Saturday.
On a dry track that took turn from the very onset and frowned upon batting flair, lofty goals had to be quickly given up and it was left to the more grounded approach of Dinesh Karthik to take the visitors to 119 for 6 in their 20 overs. It just wasn’t enough as the Kolkata Knight Riders, watched for the first time from the Eden terraces by Sourav Ganguly, romped to an eight-wicket victory with 16 balls to spare.
Gautam Gambhir, KKR’s new skipper, was involved in an unbeaten partnership of 85 with Manoj Tiwary off just 78 balls. Midway though the frenetic tournament, the Knights will be elated that they are now top of the heap on the points table. It all started with a mouth-watering match-up between Aussies Brett Lee and Adam Gilchrist.
Sadly, it was on the wrong wicket and didn’t last long. Just when Gilly was looking like winning the contest, Lee’s second over going for 12 runs, Gambhir changed the plot with a go-slow move.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (Capt.), Jacques Kallis, Shreevats Goswami, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Eoin Morgan, Rajat Bhatia, Ryan ten Doeschate, Iqbal Abdulla, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Brett Lee.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (Capt.), Paul Valthaty, Shaun Marsh, Dinesh Karthik, David Hussey, Abhishek Nayar, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Ryan Harris.