Chasing a daunting total of 192, Punjab openers got off to the best start possible as they hit Kolkata bowlers to all corners off the park from the word go. Both Rahul and Gayle matched each other shot for shot as it was raining fours and sixes at this historic venue.
Punjab crossed the 50-run mark in no time and whichever bowler came onto the attack, got hit for boundaries by the in-form Punjab openers. Finally, rain put an halt to the onslaught as the game was interrupted for almost an hour after Punjab reached 96/0 in 8.2 overs.
When rain finally relented, Punjab's target became 29 off 28 deliveries, courtesy of the Duckworth and Lewis System (D/L). Gayle returned to the crease and hit Piyush Chawla for a huge six and completed his second fifty of the tournament in style.
Rahul too hit a huge maximum to notch up his second fifty of the season off the bowling of Sunil Narine. But Rahul couldn't see his team through as he became the only Punjab batsman to be dismissed off the bowling of Narine.
Gayle then finished the game off in style as he slammed his 6th maximum of the innings to take Punjab over the line.
Earlier, a scintillating half-century from Chris Lynn and good cameos from Dinesh Karthik and Robin Uthappa ensured that Kolkata reached a good total of 191/7 in their designated 20 overs.
KKR got off to the worst start possible as mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed the dangerous Sunil Narine (1) in the second over of the innings itself. Robin Uthappa then joined Chris Lynn in the middle and the duo started to take the attack to the KXIP bowlers.
The duo dealt in boundaries for most parts of their partnership and took the home side over the 50-run mark in no time. Uthappa (34) was finally dismissed by KXIP skipper R Ashwin in the 9th over the innings after he and Lynn had put on a partnership worth 72 runs for the second wicket.
Nitish Rana's impetuousness got the better of him as he ran himself out for 3 and became the third Kolkata batsman to be dismissed inside 100. That brought skipper Dinesh Karthik on the crease and he started to deal in boundaries from the word go.
Lynn continued his hard-hitting on the other end and he notched up his fourth IPL fifty. The duo upped the ante and kept scoring the boundaries and at one point it seemed that KKR will go over the 200-run mark very easily.
However, Lynn's (74) dismissal brought the curtains down any such hope as he became Andrew Tye's first wicket of the day. Andre Russell (10) soon followed suit as he became Barinder Sran's first scalp of the day.
Karthik and Shubhman Gill added a brisk 26-run partnership for the sixth wicket but the KKR skipper had to head back into the hut after being dismissed by Sran for 43. KXIP bowlers pulled the match a bit right at the end as KKR were restricted to a score of under 200.
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First Published: April 22, 2018, 7:50 AM IST