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IPL 2023: Nitish's fifty, fiery cameos from Russell-Rinku help KKR clinch five-wicket win over PBKS

Kolkata: A half-century by skipper Nitish Rana and fiery cameos from Andre Russell and Rinku Singh helped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) clinch a thrilling five-wicket win over Punjab Kings (PBKS) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Monday.
KKR is in the fifth spot in the points table with five wins, six losses and a total of 10 points. PBKS has slipped to the seventh position in the table with 10 points due to a low net-run rate. In the chase of 180, KKR openers Jason Roy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz provided a solid start. Arshdeep Singh was smashed for 16 runs in the fourth over, including two fours and a six.
Nathan Ellis put an end to the 38-run opening stand, trapping Gurbaz lbw for 15. KKR was 38/1 in 4.4 overs.
At the end of the powerplay, KKR was at 52/1, with skipper Nitish Rana (6*) joining Jason Roy (29*) at the crease. The team reached the 50-run mark in six overs, with Sam Curran smashed for three fours in the sixth over.
Harpreet Brar got the big wicket of Jason for 38 off 24 balls, with eight fours after he was caught by Shahrukh Khan at deep mid-wicket. KKR was 64/2 in 7.2 overs.
Rana and Venkatesh Iyer helped KKR complete the first half of the innings without any further loss. At the end of 10 overs, KKR was at 76/2, with Rana (15*) and Iyer (6*).
The 11th over bowled by Liam Livingstone gave away 16 runs, including two fours and a six by Nitish.
KKR touched the 100-run mark in 12.1 overs.
The duo formed a fifty-run stand largely due to the efforts of skipper Nitish, but it was broken by Rahul Chahar, who dismissed Iyer for 11 off 13 balls after Liam Livingstone caught him at long-off. KKR was at 115/3 in 13.4 overs.
At the end of 15 overs, KKR was at 122/3, with Rana (49*) and Andre Russell (6*) unbeaten.
Rana got his fifty in just 37 balls, but Chahar took his wicket on the very next ball. The skipper was back in the hut for 51 off 38 balls, consisting of six fours and a six. KKR was 124/4 in 15.2 overs.
Rinku Singh was the next batter.

Rinku and Russell started to hit some big strokes, bringing down the deficit one big hit at a time.
The deficit was reduced to 26 runs in the final two overs.
A trio of sixes from Russell reduced the equation to seven runs in seven balls.
KKR needed six in the final over. Some tight bowling by Arshdeep resulted in two runs needed in two balls. On the penultimate ball, Russell was run out by Arshdeep for 42 off 23 balls, consisting of three fours and three sixes. But Rinku Singh hit the winning four on the final ball, finishing KKR's innings at 182/5, with Rinku Singh (21*) and Shardul Thakur (0*).
Rahul Chahar (2/23) was the pick of the bowlers for PBKS. Brar and Ellis got a wicket each.
Earlier, a half-century by skipper Shikhar Dhawan and late cameos by Shahrukh Khan and Harpreet Brar guided Punjab Kings to a competitive 179/7 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Eden Gardens on Monday.
Electing to bat first, PBKS started really well, with Prabhsimran Singh hitting Vaibhav Arora for three boundaries in the first over. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan also started the next over with two straight fours.
However, PBKS could not carry the momentum for long as Prabhsimran's topsy-turvy season continued with his dismissal for 12 off eight balls. Harshit Rana got his wicket and Rahmanullah Gurbaz took the catch. PBKS was at 21/1 in 2 overs.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who was making his return to the side, failed to capitalise on his chance and fell for a three-ball duck to Harshit, who once again got assistance from Gurbaz. PBKS was at 29/2 in 3.4 overs.
Liam Livingstone joined his skipper and made his intentions clear by smashing Andre Russell for three straight boundaries in the fifth over. The over gave away 19 runs and PBKS raced to the 50-run mark in five overs.
Varun Chakravarthy bowled the final over of the powerplay and took the prized wicket of Livingstone for 15 off nine balls. PBKS was at 53/3 in 5.3 overs.

At the end of the powerplay, PBKS was at 58/3, with Shikhar (25*) joined by in-form Jitesh Sharma (1*).
Shikhar and Jitesh started to build a partnership. Halfway through the innings, PBKS was at 82/3, with Jitesh (13*) and Dhawan (33*) unbeaten at the crease.
PBKS reached the 100-run mark in 11.3 overs.
In the second half, Dhawan upped the attack by sweeping, reverse-sweeping everything in his way. Shikhar-Jitesh brought up their 50-run partnership.
Just when the duo was looking to take off, Varun dismissed in-form Jitesh for 21 off 18 balls. PBKS was at 106/4 in 12.3 overs. Shikhar raced to his half-century in 41 balls with a six, consisting of nine fours and a six.
However, the PBKS skipper could not convert his fifty into a big score, falling to KKR skipper Nitish Rana for 57 off 47 balls after he was caught by Harshit at long-on. PBKS was 119/5 in 14.4 overs.
At the end of 15 overs, PBKS was at 124/5, with Rishi Dhawan (5*) and Sam Curran (3*) unbeaten.
Sam Curran departed for 4. Suyash Sharma got the wicket with Gurbaz taking the catch. PBKS was at 139/7 in 17.2 overs.
PBKS managed to score big in the final two overs. They scored 15 runs in the 19th over and followed it with an even bigger final over worth 21 runs, with Shahrukh Khan hitting Harshit Rana for two fours and a six Harpreet Brar smashing a six.
PBKS finished at 179/7, with Shahrukh (21*) and Harpreet (17*) unbeaten.
Chakravarthy was the pick of the bowlers for KKR, taking 3/26 in four overs. Harshit took two wickets while Suyash and Nitish got one each.
Brief Scores: PBKS: 179/7 (Shikhar Dhawan 57, Jitesh Sharma 21, Varun Chakravarthy 3/26) lost to KKR: 182/5: (Nitish Rana 51, Andre Russell 40, Rahul Chahar 2/23). (ANI)

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