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Kings XI Punjab pip KKR by two runs in a thriller

Kolkata: Medium pacer Harmeet Singh kept his composure as he bowled a tight final over helping Kings XI Punjab record a thrilling two-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders, in an IPL match, here on Sunday.

Chasing a target of 135 on a tricky Eden pitch, KKR needed nine runs off the final over but medium pacer Harmeet gave away only six runs. Debabrata Das, who played a lovely cameo (35, 23 balls, 3×4, 1×6), failed to hit a boundary off the final delivery as home team ended on 132 as Kings XI won their second match of the tourney.

Debabrata, who played for KKR in first edition of IPL before being dumped during three subsequent seasons almost took his team to victory with some lusty blows after they were down in the dumps at 88 for six. Along with Harmeet, India seamer Praveen Kumar bowled a brilliant penultimate over where only four runs were scored. Also spinners Piyush Chawla (3/18) and Bhargav Bhatt (2/22) should be lauded for sharing five wickets for only 42 runs in the eight overs bowled by them.

It was pity that KKR offie Sunil Narine`s brilliant figures of five for 19 were undone by some indiscreet shot making on the part of home team batsmen — especially Manvinder Bisla and Yusuf Pathan. On a track, where the spinners are getting fair amount of assistance, a target of 135 was always going to be difficult.

While Jacques Kallis (1) was gone early — thanks to a brilliant catch by Paras Dogra, skipper Gautam Gambhir hit a flurry of boundaries on his way 22 before he offered a tame return catch to Dimitri Mascarenhas. At 30 for two, in-form Bisla (27, 25 balls, 1×4, 1×6) and Manoj Tiwary (20, 27 balls, 1×4) added 43 runs for the third wicket and it looked KKR will coast home easily. However left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt angled one into Tiwary who was caught plumb in-front as KKR were 73 for three. Within another six runs, it was Bisla who played all over a Piyush Chawla delivery to be bowled.

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