Knight Riders win off last ball against Punjab Kings, extend winning streak

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) registered a thrilling five-wicket victory against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Tuesday. KKR’s skipper Nitish Rana scored a half-century, while Andre Russell and Rinku Singh made major contributions. PBKS is now seventh on the points table with 10 points, while KKR is in fifth place with 10 points, resgistering five wins, and six losses.

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KKR openers Jason Roy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz made a solid start, as KKR reached 50 runs in only six overs. Harpreet Brar dismissed Jason Roy for 38 off 24 balls, and Venkatesh Iyer fell to Rahul Chahar, who had him caught at long-off for 11 off 13 balls. After 15 overs, KKR were 122/3, with Rana (49*) and Russell (6*) at the crease.

Russell and Rinku Singh began hitting big strokes, bringing down the deficit, as KKR needed six runs in the final over. Some tight bowling by Arshdeep resulted in two runs needed in two balls. Russell was run out by Arshdeep for 42 off 23 balls on the penultimate ball. However, Rinku Singh hit the winning four on the final ball. He finished KKR’s innings at 182/5, remaining unbeaten on 21 with Shardul Thakur (0*).

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Earlier, PBKS scored a competitive 179/7. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan scored a half-century, while Shahrukh Khan and Harpreet Brar contributed with late cameos. PBKS started well, but they could not carry the momentum for long, losing wickets at regular intervals. PBKS reached the 100-run mark in 13.3 overs and finished their innings at 179/7.

Dhawan achieves milestone

PBKS skipper Shikhar Dhawan achieved a significant milestone by completing his 50th half-century in the IPL. Despite losing wickets at the other end, Shikhar scored 57 runs in 47 balls, including nine fours and a six, at a strike rate of 121.27. He is only the second Indian, after Virat Kohli from RCB, and third overall, after David Warner from Delhi Capitals, to achieve this feat.

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David Warner holds the record for the most fifties (57) in IPL history while Virat and Dhawan have scored 50 half-centuries. Warner also has the most fifty-plus scores in IPL history, also scoreing four centuries. In contrast, Virat has 55 fifty-plus scores and five centuries, while Shikhar has 52 fifty-plus scores and two fifties.

Dhawan has a total of 6,593 runs in his IPL career, averaging 35.93 and a strike rate of 127.16, including two centuries and 50 half-centuries. His highest score is 106. He is the second-highest run-scorer in IPL history, behind Kohli, who has scored 7,043 runs, and is ahead of Warner, who has 6,211 runs to his name.

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In the current IPL 2023 season, Dhawan has scored 349 runs, with an average of 58.16 and a strike rate of 143.62. The left-handed batter has three half-centuries, with his highest score being 99*. He currently holds the ninth position in the list of highest run-scorers this season.

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