Abu Dhabi, April 26 :
The Kings XI Punjab won their fourth consecutive match to remain unbeaten in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when they defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders by 23 runs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here Saturday.
Chasing a modest total of 133, the Kolkata outfit were bowled out for 109 in 18.2 overs by Kings XI, who still lead the standings with 8 points from four matches.
After being put in to bat, Kings XI did not get off to a good start as they lost opener Cheteshwar Pujara (8) early in the second over.
Though all the middle order batsmen got starts, nobody really got going with their scores ranging from 14 to 19.
Opener Virender Sehwag tried to stick it out in the middle, playing a patient knock of 37 but was eventually bowled by leg spinner Piyush Chawla just after the team crossed the 100-mark.
Spinners Chawla and Sunil Narine were the pick of the bowlers with both picking up three wickets each while South African pacers Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis clinched a wicket each to restrict Kings XI to 132/9 in their 20 overs.
In reply, the Knight Riders got off to a disastrous start as the top three batsman got out with the scoreboard reading 19 in the sixth over.
Openers Manish Pandey (8) and Kallis (9) got out cheaply and skipper Gautam Gambhir posted his highest score of 1 run in this edition of the IPL. The left hander is going through an extremely poor run as he could only manage three consecutive ducks in the previous three matches.
Australia’s Chris Lynn (13) and wicketkeeper-batsman Robin Uthappa (19) tried to stabilise the innings but failed right after reaching the 50-mark. Lynn, Yusuf Pathan (3), Uthappa and Chawla (0) got out soon and the team was reeling at 65/7 in the 14th over.
Suryakumar Yadav tried to put up some form of resistance with his knock of 34 off 17 balls but ran out of partners.
It was too much to ask from the Knight Riders’ lower order as Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson (2/22) finished off the innings.
But the day belonged to medium pacer Sandeep Sharma, who was named man of the match with his figures of 4-1-21-3 while left armer Akshar Patel picked up 2/16 from his four overs.