In a nail-biting finish, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated the Punjab Kings (PBKS) by five wickets at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on May 8th. The hosts chased down 180 in the final ball of the match to clinch the victory. PBKS had opted to bat first and scored 179/7 in their allotted 20 overs, thanks to a half-century from skipper Shikhar Dhawan. The left-handed batter scored 57 runs off 47 balls, including a maximum and nine boundaries. Shahrukh Khan (21 off 8) and Harpreet Brar (17 off 9) provided a late flourish to ensure PBKS put up a fighting total.
Varun Chakaravarthy emerged as the pick of the bowlers for KKR, returning with figures of 3/26, while Harshit Rana scalped two wickets. Captain Nitish Rana and Suyash Sharma also took one wicket apiece. Chasing 180, Rana led from the front with the bat for KKR with his 51 off 38 deliveries. Andre Russell (42 off 23) and Jason Roy (38 off 24) kept the hosts alive in the game. Later, Rinku Singh hit 21* off 10 balls to win the game for Kolkata with a boundary off the final ball when they needed two off the ultimate delivery. For Punjab, Rahul Chahar scalped two wickets, while Harpreet Brar and Nathan Ellis took one wicket each.
Following the match, fans on Twitter expressed their disappointment with Shikhar Dhawan’s captaincy and PBKS’ management. One user shared a meme that reads: “See you next season.” However, Dhawan explained that the lack of a proper off-spinner was the reason behind their defeat. Speaking at the post-match conference, the 37-year-old said: “Feels bad, of course not feeling great, we lost the match. I feel we don’t have a good off-spinner, that’s where we are leaking a bit of runs when left-handers come in. This wicket was offering turn as well, that’s where we took the hit.”
PBKS will next play the Delhi Capitals at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on May 13th. The team will need to regroup and come up with a better strategy to ensure a win in their upcoming match. With just a few games left in the league, every match is crucial for PBKS to secure a spot in the playoffs.
It is not uncommon for fans to express their disappointment and frustration on social media after a loss. However, it is important to remember that players and teams are doing their best and even the slightest mistake can cost them the game. As responsible fans, it is our duty to support our teams through thick and thin and encourage them to do better in the future.
Overall, the match between KKR and PBKS was an exciting one that kept the audience on the edge of their seats until the very end. With more matches to come, fans can look forward to more thrilling moments in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season.