IPL 8: Russell, Chawla propel KKR thrilling win over KXIP & top of table

Kolkata: Andre Russell (51 in 21 balls), Yusuf Pathan (29 from 19 balls) and Piyush Chawla's 11-ball 18 propelled Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table as they beat Kings XI Punjab by one wicket and a ball to spare here on Saturday.

The Knights riders of Kolkata have 15 points from 12 games while the Kings from Punjab are still at the bottom of the standings with only two wins from 11 contests.

In answer to KXIP's 183/5, KKR finished with 184/9 with Russell top scoring with 51 from 21 balls. Anureet Singh and Gurkeerat Singh Mann picked two wickets each for the losers.

The Knights were off to a flyer with Robin Uthappa (17) and skipper Gautam Gambhir making easy weather of the opposition pacers.

Even though Uthappa got out, the fourth and the fifth over produced 30 runs for the men in purple with 50 coming up in just 4.5 overs.

However, the spinners in the form of Gurkeerat and Glenn Maxwell were able to put the brakes on the run rate by clinching two quick wickets of Manish Pandey and Gambhir.

The latter tamely lofted one to long on as the hosts slumped to 76/3 in 10 overs. Suryakumar Yadav soon fell for nine in the next over.

When all looked gloomy for the home team, the 60,000 strong crowd at the ground still had their hopes pinned on the pair of Pathan and Russell who were looking to rebuild the innings.

KKR went past the 100-run mark at the end of the 12th over. The duo then smashed Axar Patel for 24 runs in the 14th over which included three massive sixes into the stands.

After a partnership of 53 runs off just 25 deliveries, Pathan (29; 19b 1x4 3x6) fell, edging one to the wicket-keeper while trying to lift it over third man.

Russell continued clobbering the Kings XI bowlers but then managed to nick one to Wriddhiman Saha; by then however, KKR were close to the shore.

Earlier, the home side was sloppy on the field from the start with Murali Vijay being the beneficiary as three of his catches were spilled. But his innings finally ended as Narine castled him soon after.

There were two more chances that went down as Vohra and Wriddhiman Saha knit together a useful partnership with the score reading 75/1 at the halfway stage.

However, Narine was quick to dismiss Vohra (39;34b, 1x4 3x6) just as he held on to a return catch.

Maxwell and Saha then upped the ante as they belted the Knights' spinners for 35 runs in two overs. Narine came to Kolkata's rescue once again, sending both Maxwell (43; 22b, 4x4 3x6) and Saha (33; 25b, 0x4 2x6) back into the dug-out in the 17th over.

The hosts pulled things back thereafter but a late surge from Miller ensured they posted a formidable total.

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