Bengaluru, April 27: Skipper Eoin Morgan led from the front after his bowlers had come to the party as Kolkata Knight Riders ended their losing sequence with an easy five-wicket win over Punjab Kings in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
KKR had lost each game since winning their tournament opener but were quickly on top on Monday (April 26) night as the IPL caravan moved to Ahmedabad for the first time.
In Match 21 of IPL 2021 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, KKR had a straightforward chase - led by captain Morgan (47 not out) and Rahul Tripathi (41) - after limiting the Kings to 123 for nine.
That total could easily have been far lower as Punjab failed to fire, with Mayank Agarwal their top scorer on an underwhelming 31 off 34.
By the time he departed to Sunil Narine in the 12th over, the Kings had just 60 runs on the board and had already lost three prior wickets - including Chris Gayle, who had previously averaged 47 against the Knight Riders but went for a duck.
Wickets continued to fall apace, but Chris Jordan ensured his side made three figures and then kept going, 30 off 18 keeping Punjab's slim hopes alive.
Those hopes grew when Kolkata made a similarly shaky start, losing three wickets in the first three overs.
This has been a tough tournament for the Knight Riders and they might have feared another difficult outing against the Kings, who had been eight-wicket victors in their previous meeting in October.
But skipper Morgan was a typically steady presence throughout the run chase and ensure Kolkata retain the upper hand against a side they have now beaten in 13 of their past 16 outings.
Here are some of the statistical highlights from the match.
#During his unbeaten 47, Morgan reached 7,000 T20 runs.
#With figures of 2-22, Sunil Narine has taken 30 Punjab wickets, most of any bowler in the IPL.
#The win brought an end to KKR's four-match losing sequence in the tournament.