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Kolkata vs Punjab - 18th Match

Series: Indian T20 League, 2018
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Date: 21 April 2018

Punjab 126/1 (11.1 Ovs) RR: 11.28 | Punjab won by 9 wkts (DLS method)


It's been a mixed bag for KOL. They have won three and lost three. DK and Co. need to do some serious thinking. Lynn getting back among the runs was a positive and the bowling figures of Mavi don't suggest how well he bowled. KOL would hope Russell's injury isn't big. So that's that from the Eden Gardens run fest. It's not quite a run feast in Bengaluru. Hop tabs for the action between DEL and BLR. See you there!

Rahul (Man of the Match): "I don't want to stop whatever I am doing. I am in a good space and want to win games. The approach is going to be aggressive and to take the bowlers down within my limitations with whatever I am gifted with. It's working for me. The simpler you keep it, the more clearer you will be as a batsman. I don't want to complicate my batting, just see the ball and hit the ball. I bank a lot on cricketing shots. My feet are moving and I am hitting the ball well. I got to make sure that I should make it big and stay there till the end. Me and Chris want to back our games. If Chris is going it doesn't mean I slow down. If he fancies a bowler, then I let him strike. But it hasn't been that way. We've spoken something else outside, but once we are out there, we just continue what we are doing and not thinking too much."

Ashwin: "Lot happier than the previous one (win). I thought we were under the pump with the ball. During the second time-out I pulled the boys and told them if we can keep them to 190, it will be a great favour to the batsmen. Very pleased with the way we batted. KL looked like a millon dollars and you never ask with Chris, he's gone fifty after fifty. Our bowlers got hit, so we wanted to have shorter targets for them to try and make sure they achieved that. You don't really plan with someone like Chris. We are a team that wants to embrace winning the powerplay with the ball and the bat - that's half the job completed. If we can get some points in the next week, even if we get four out 2 games - being a bit greedy, then we go into a small break. So it will be helpful for us."

Chris Gayle, Orange cap holder: I am accustomed to it (about getting the Orange cap). To be honest, I am not worried about the Orange cap. I think Rahul deserves it, he's been batting really well. I have been striking well and when you are in the zone, you try to keep the momentum going. I have been doing lot of stretches (about his fitness) and I am enjoying it. It's really good to contribute to the team. Hope to continue this form.

Dinesh Karthik, KOL captain: I think they took us on in the Powerplay and played really good shots. There seems to be a trend where we tend to miss out on the last couple of overs with the bat. It's important that we finish the innings well. We didn't execute plans and a player like Gayle will always hit you if you miss your lengths. The crowds have been great, proud to be playing in front of them and they are big fans of KOL.

Look at that confident walk back to the dressing from Gayle. He's in a good space folks and is looking hungry. 192 was a good target set by KOL, but Rahul and Gayle just smashed the bowlers to all corners to make a mockery of the total. The rain came down heavy, but the PUN openers ensured that the side was well and truly in front. The revised target of 125 in 13 overs was swallowed easily. Gayle made 62 at a strike-rate of 163 dots, but to me Rahul's 27-ball 60 was special primarily because of the ease with which he hit the bowlers. Hardly played a rash shot. Making a serious case for an opening slot for India in T20s. Rohit plays No. 4 maybe!

Tom Curran to Gayle, SIX, that's in the airrr, mistimed, the fielder jumps and it just escapes him. So that's the game for PUN. They top the points table. Fittingly Gayle hits the winning shot. Length ball, Gayle went for the loft straight, long-on ran to his right and jumped but couldn't get a hand on it

Tom Curran, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack

Five needed off 12

Shivam Mavi to Gayle, 1 run, low full toss, Gayle drills it to long-on, keeps strike
Shivam Mavi to Gayle, no run, wild swing, short of a length delivery outside off stump, Gayle slogs and misses
Shivam Mavi to Gayle, no run, oh this is a very different kind of slower. Not the knuckle ball, not the back-of-the-hander, but he's just released this in a way that it back spins it bounced on Gayle as well. The checked defence almost goes back as a catch to the bowler
Shivam Mavi to Gayle, no run, oh he should have knocked over Gayle, deserves the wicket, for he's bowled really well to Gayle, but luck is with Gayle and the inside edge hits the pad and rolls past the stumps. Gayle didn't read that slower but tried the cut shot
Shivam Mavi to Gayle, wide, full and down the leg-side, easy call for the umpire
Shivam Mavi to Gayle, no run, that's a very good yorker, targetting the base of leg stick, Gayle just about managed to dig it out and avoid damage to his toe
Shivam Mavi to Mayank Agarwal, 1 run, fuller length delivery outside off stump, Mayank drives it to sweeper cover

Shivam Mavi [2.0-0-26-0] is back into the attack

Just 8 runs needed. Can they finish it off this over?

Narine to Gayle, no run, shortish and on the leg stump, Gayle knocks it into the on-side
Narine to Mayank Agarwal, 1 run, shortish delivery on the leg stump, Agarwal tucks it to square leg

Mayank Agarwal, right handed bat, comes to the crease

Narine to Rahul, out Caught by Tom Curran!! He's mistimed this high in the air and deep mid-wicket takes it. Short ball, Rahul went for the pull, came off the bottom of the bat as the ball came slowly onto him. Walks off to a great applause, raises the bat to the crowd. He really wanted to end this game in a hurry. What a top knock though. It was so good to watch him score quick runs with proper cricketing shots. Rahul c Tom Curran b Narine 60(27) [4s-9 6s-2]

Narine to Rahul, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!

Narine to Rahul, FOUR, cut away fiercely past point and a big roar from the crowd! Who are they supporting? Quicker delivery outside off stump, Rahul goes back and cuts really hard
Narine to Rahul, FOUR, Rahul wants to finish this off early. Bravely races down the pitch and forces Narine to shorten the length, it was well outside off stump, but Rahul reached out and cut it away past cover
Narine to Rahul, SIX, crunched! A 24-ball fifty for KL Rahul. How well has he played thus far in the tournament! Shortish delivery from Narine, Rahul pulls off the back foot, hit flat and hit over the mid-wicket boundary
Chawla to Gayle, no run, shortish in length, Gayle sends this towards short fine leg
Chawla to Gayle, no run, defended to the right of the bowler
Chawla to Gayle, no run, oh he targets a maximum again, but this time Chawla beat him with a quick delivery
Chawla to Gayle, SIX, full toss and smashed. A hat-trick of fifties for Gayle and this is a bloke who went unsold originally and was picked last minute at base price. He hits this straight and does the "baby celebration" of his. Gets a great round of applause from the crowd

20:14 Local Time, 14:44 GMT, 20:14 IST: Out come the players. Rahul and Gayle move towards the pitch. Should swallow this easily!

20:06 Local Time, 14:36 GMT, 20:06 IST: 20:15 start for a 13-over game. 125 is the target for PUN. So that means they only need 29 runs from 28 balls. Easy peasy!

All covers off. KOL players already in a meeting. Umpires in the far corner are having a chat with a few groundsmen now.

19:33 Local Time, 14:03 GMT, 19:33 IST: More from the ground - Final sheet on the main pitch goes off now. Huge cheers from the crowd, they have done well to stay back because the way it came down for that 30 odd minutes, phew, one needed some good shelter really.

19:21 Local Time, 13:51 GMT, 19:21 IST: Hurray!! There is some good news from Shirshendu, "It has stopped raining. Groundsmen working away in full force." We might get to see some action after all. Hang in there folks.. We will have more updates soon.

19:14 Local Time, 13:44 GMT, 19:14 IST: Some more insight as to what is happening at Eden: Groundsmen are at it, using those mops to wipe off water from the covers on the square, such huge splashing there. There's a lot of water on the surface. Supersoppers doing their job on the outside.

19:09 Local Time, 13:39 GMT, 19:09 IST: Latest from ground zero: Scheduled close of play is 19:10 and as per the local scorers, play can be extended up to 20:10 IST. Haven't heard anything official yet though. In the meantime, the rain gods are doing tricks - the intensity of the rain has reduced surely but still heavy. Off goes a supersopper, second one is almost ready to take off too.

18:57 Local Time, 13:27 GMT, 18:57 IST: The latest update is not a promising one. "This is all we might have seen today at the Eden. Absolutely bucketing down here. Puddles already on the covers," pings our man. And this one from KOL's twitter handle, "PUN were 31 runs ahead of the DLS par score (65/0) when rain stopped play after 8.2 overs. The drizzle has turned to heavy showers right now. Cut off time for play to resume is 8:10 PM IST."

18:42 Local Time, 13:12 GMT, 18:42 IST: On come the covers and off go the players. The rain has picked up pace and that has forced the umpires to stop play. Gayle and Rahul are still in the dugout as the rest of the team head indoors. The entire ground is being covered. PUN well ahead on the DLS par score, which is 65 at this stage Hopefully it is a passing shower and we resume the action soon. "Thunder, lightning, rain. Not looking good at all," adds Shirshendu.

Chawla to Gayle, SIX, that ball stayed up for an eternity. The fielder at long-on thought he was in with a chance, but it is Chris Gayle who is batting and even a miscue from him will clear the rope. Went after the wrong 'un and cue-ended the loft, just about managed to clear the field
Chawla to Rahul, 1 run, flighted and Rahul taps it into the off-side, for an easy single

Piyush Chawla [1.0-0-11-0] is back into the attack

Kolkata met expert: "Umpires having a word right now, groundsmen have taken their positions already."

Narine to Rahul, 1 run, hangs on the back foot and wrists the offie towards long-on. Sensible batting - play out Narine and attack the rest. That seems to be the mantra for these two
Narine to Rahul, no run, bit of air on this one and Rahul is right on top of the delivery to play the drive, straight to cover
Narine to Gayle, 1 run, flatter and on the stumps, a push to the left of Narine and a single to long-on
Narine to Rahul, 1 run, rides the bounce on this occasion and nurdles it into large vacant spaces in the leg-side
Narine to Rahul, no run, quicker, shorter and outside off, Rahul cuts and misses. He was undone by the pace on the delivery, bit of extra bounce as well

Starting to drizzle..

Narine to Rahul, no run, fraction short and Rahul cuts it straight to backward point, either side and that would have been four

Sunil Narine [1.0-0-5-0] is back into the attack

Kuldeep Yadav to Gayle, no run, shortish and just outside off stump, Gayle goes back for the punch, hits it in the air but unfortunately for the bowler there's lack of power behind this shot and it doesn't carry to cover
Kuldeep Yadav to Rahul, 1 run, flighted delivery on the leg stump, Rahul sweeps it to fine leg
Kuldeep Yadav to Gayle, 1 run, punched to long-on
Kuldeep Yadav to Gayle, SIX, got to feel for the bowlers who are forced to bowl a defensive line with these big bats and small boundaries. Can cricket be kind on them please? Kuldeep Yadav did the right thing by spinning the ball away from Gayle and bowling wide outside off stump, but he bowled too full and the big man got under it to smash it over long-on

All of a sudden there's a stiff breeze blowing across the Eden. Slight pause in play. Apparently it's raining some 10KM away from the ground. At the moment we are good to carry on though

Gayle vs Kuldeep now

Kuldeep Yadav to Rahul, 1 run, wristed to square leg
Kuldeep Yadav to Rahul, FOUR, absolutely no mercy from Rahul. Well, a rank long hop doesn't deserve respect anyway. Rahul quickly rocks back and pulls powerfully, splits long-on and deep mid-wicket quite easily

Kuldeep Yadav, left-arm chinaman, comes into the attack

Here he comes!

The runs are bleeding. 73/0 in 6 - third highest powerplay score at Eden in T20 League. KOL in big trouble. Got to get these two quickly and get into that middle order. Kuldeep is key for them. By the way, it's a time-out at the Eden.

Chawla to Rahul, 1 run, advances and drives it to long-on
Chawla to Rahul, FOUR, this guy is striking them at 264 and bits but doesn't play rash shots. That's the feature of his batting. Spots the field, fine leg is inside, so he allows the ball to come, the line was down the leg-side and he just helped it away fine past the keeper
Chawla to Rahul, FOUR, hey Sunil! Gotta move buddy! Rahul went back and pulled this short ball fine, Narine was at short fine leg, he hardly moved, should have tried at least, instead he put his arm out to the man in the deep, who clearly had no chance
Chawla to Gayle, 1 run, driven hard to cover, who dives to his left and stops the ball
Chawla to Gayle, no run, wooo! That was a lot of air there from Gayle. Chawla bowls the slider flat, across and full, very lucky that Gayle didn't connect with that golf swing of his
Chawla to Rahul, 1 run, steps out and nudges to mid-wicket

Piyush Chawla, right-arm leg break, comes into the attack

Gayle vs Narine in T20 League: 45 balls, 40 runs, 2 dismissals

Narine to Gayle, FOUR, that's the over spoiled, tried the offie again but sprayed it down the leg-side, fine leg was inside the ring and Gayle happily helps it on its way over short fine leg. Gee he's looking ominous
Narine to Gayle, no run, the offie again and Gayle struggles off the back foot, somehow manages to dab it into the off-side
Narine to Gayle, no run, in no mood to come forward to Narine, is only reading the spin from the pitch, just opens the bat face late and guides it towards point. Come on Sunil, slip in the knuckle ball
Narine to Gayle, no run, Gayle's very watchful against Narine, stands still and punches towards mid-off
Narine to Gayle, no run, the offie, that's very very carefully punched off the back foot to cover
Narine to Rahul, 1 run, flighted delivery on the stumps, Rahul punches it down to long-on

Sunil Narine, right-arm off break, comes into the attack

Rinku Singh is the sub for Russell

Nitish Rana to Gayle, no run, oh he almost knocks him over first ball. Nitish Rana has bowled well this T20 League, hasn't he? Surprised Gayle with a seam-up length ball that swung back in late from round the wicket, Gayle just about makes contact with the ball in time

Nitish Rana, right-arm off break, comes into the attack

Andre Russell throws the ball away in frustration as he stops last minute before jumping into his delivery stride. He's feeling the pain and is going off the attack. This is not good news for KOL!

A Russell to Gayle, SIX, the upper cut and it's gone all the way. This guy averages around 50 in T20s at this venue I guess! Oh Dre Russ is down on the floor after delivering that ball. Looks like he's done a hammie here. Anyway, this was a short ball that came at pace and Gayle's leg-side movement gave him the space to free the arms and slice the ball over third man. The connection was spot on
A Russell to Gayle, FOUR, look at the frustration on Russell's face. He thought of outsmarting Gayle by taking pace off the ball, but Gayle cleverly delayed the shot. He moved leg-side early, but held the pose for a bit and then cut it between point and cover-point. Expertly done
A Russell to Rahul, 1 run, almost a yorker, Rahul digs it out to mid-on, the throw goes to the striker's end as Gayle was a touch slow
A Russell to Gayle, 1 run, Russell hits the pitch hard with this short of length delivery and gets it to jump on the batsman, Gayle, cramped for space, manages to pull on one leg to deep mid-wicket
A Russell to Gayle, SIX, nope! Please don't bowl there Russ! You know it's all too easy if you bowl full against a power-hitter. Gayle easily gets under this ball and launches it wide of long-on
Shivam Mavi to Rahul, SIX, that's inexperience for you from the bowler. He was troubling Rahul with the inswingers, this is the final ball of his second over, he may not be given the third, so now he tries something different from what was working and gets smashed. Short and rising, Rahul nonchalantly pulls over square leg. How good a shot was that?
Shivam Mavi to Gayle, 1 run, oh he's hurried Gayle with a fast short ball, luckily for Gayle the ill-timed pull shot doesn't carry to mid-wicket
Shivam Mavi to Gayle, FOUR, that's sloppy from Narine, should have been stopped. Again Gayle fails to time the ball, this was a good length delivery that rushed, the ball took the inside edge of the bat and escaped wide of mid-wicket
Shivam Mavi to Gayle, no run, beaten! This is brave from Shivam Mavi to back himself to bowl the outswingers to Gayle and the big left-hander only connected with thin air. Wild swing of the bat to try and smash the leather, but the swing did him in
Shivam Mavi to Gayle, FOUR, a boundary but this was hardly middled by Gayle. The bowler actually won a mini battle there, tried the outswinger, but that didn't swing much, the angle away troubled Gayle, who wanted to smash this over long-off, the ball hits the outside half of the bat and flies over cover-point
Shivam Mavi to Rahul, 1 run, and there it is! Rahul almost foxed by that sharp inward movement starting outside off stump and finish on off stump, awkwardly managed to fend with one hand towards backward square leg
Shivam Mavi to Rahul, wide, come on buddy, get that in the fourth/fifth stump line. The attempted inswinger is sprayed down the leg-side
A Russell to Gayle, no run, the yorker followed by a pacy bumper, Gayle ducks under it. The asking rate is that big for Gayle to have a go at everything. He's calm and those are danger signs for KOL
A Russell to Gayle, no run, now he nails the yorker outside off stump, Gayle fails to make contact
A Russell to Gayle, FOUR, Dre Russ vs Gayle and Gayle hits a four first ball. Russell missed the yorker there, bowled a juicy full ball and Gayle just placed the square-drive to the left of point, didn't try to hit that hard and this outfield is quick enough
A Russell to Rahul, 1 run, short of length, worked away to deep square leg
A Russell to Rahul, FOUR, this is unfair on the bowler. He's actually surprised Rahul with extra bounce on this short of length delivery, but Rahul managed to play with an angled bat at the last moment, third man was inside the ring again and there was no protection in the deep
A Russell to Rahul, FOUR, this is the thing about classy batsmen. They have this silken touch. Rahul hardly had a real go at this length delivery, just came forward and went through with an extended forward push, but found the middle of the bat or close to it and got it wide of the man at cover

Andre Russell, right-arm fast, comes into the attack

Fine start from Mavi. Apart from the one boundary middled by Rahul, he's been pretty good with pace, movement and lines.

Shivam Mavi to Gayle, no run, play and miss again! Wow! Bhuvi Kumar will love that! Good length ball pitching and moving away from the left-hander, Gayle had to play at it for the line, but he has no clue about the outswing on this ball, could so easily have been an edge through to DK
Shivam Mavi to Gayle, no run, that's way outside off stump and Gayle obviously wont be flashing at those

Extra slip added now

Shivam Mavi to Gayle, no run, beaten first up. Chris Gayle was completely squared up and was very late to read this outswinger on a fuller length, lucky that it wasn't close to the off stump, the ball sails through to DK

Young Shivam Mavi vs Chris Gayle. Good luck with those away-swingers big man! What a moment for Mavi

Shivam Mavi to Rahul, 1 run, again shape back into the right-hander for Shivam Mavi, Rahul manages to cover the line and turn it to square leg
Shivam Mavi to Rahul, FOUR, now that's brilliant placement from Rahul. Third man up, so Rahul uses the width on offer on this good length delivery, allows the ball to come and guides it to the left of backward point and it came from the middle of the bat as well
Shivam Mavi to Rahul, FOUR, oh almost chopped on and what a good first ball that was Shivam Mavi the young Shivam Mavi. Pacy, good length, seam pretty straight and just tailing back in and it seriously tests Rahul. He wanted to go for the drive, the feet weren't fully forward, lucky that the edge escaped past the off stick. Troubled by the movement in to him on that occasion

Rahul and Gayle are at the crease. Rahul is on strike. Shivam Mavi will open the attack