Punjab Kings smash record to chase 262 against Kolkata Knight Riders

Jonny Bairstow smashed his maiden century of IPL 2024 (Photo: IPL)

Punjab Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, as fiery knocks from Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh and Shashank Singh helped the visitors end their four-match losing streak. In was a record-breaking outing in Kolkata, with Punjab chasing 262 runs, the most-ever in any T20 match, with eight balls in hand. The match also witnessed most sixes (42) being hit in a T20 game.

Narine, Salt light it up again

Sunil Narine and Phil Salt enjoyed yet another show-stealing outing as the duo stitched a 138-run opening partnership, the highest of the season. They stuck to their template of dominating the powerplay from the word go and completed the century stand in just 48 deliveries. None of the bowling changes worked for Punjab Kings as Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada and Harshal Patel were taken to cleaners. By giving a stellar start to a power-packed KKR middle-order, Narine and Salt, appeared to have taken the game away from PBKS in the initial phase. Narine (3rd) and Salt (5th) are among the highest run-getters in the powerplay this season with 204 (SR: 177.39) and 193 (SR: 175.45), respectively. This was also KKR’s fourth-best opening stand of all-time. However, Punjab will wonder about the scenarios had they held the catches — Narine on 16, Salt on 34 and 35.

Mixed outing for Harshal and Arshdeep

Harshal Patel got the Purple Cap and Arshdeep Singh went home with two wickets to his name. However, Harshal conceded 48 in three and Arshdeep 45 in four. While the pitch was a belter again, the execution from both the pacers was inconsistent. They missed their slower yorkers, bowled too many predictable length deliveries as the KKR batters kept on milking them for runs. Arshdeep bowled a total of five wides as he kept on missing his wide yorkers, hinting that he may not be at his best. However, a sharp bouncer to dismiss Andre Russell was a glimpse of what he is capable of. Harshal returned to the top of the wicket-taking chart with 14 scalps in nine games.

Prabhsimran booster at top for Punjab

Prabhsimran Singh, who entered the middle as an Impact Player once again, created a real impact up top. The opener took on Dushmantha Chameera, making his KKR debut, in the third over by smashing 23 off it. From there, Prabhsimran’s knock had everything like flair, confidence and power, as he made 54 runs off just 20 balls. It was laced with five sixes and four boundaries with a strike rate of 270. The start provided by Prabhsimran forced KKR to bring in Anukul Roy and Sunil Narine in the powerplay, but the youngster hammered them as well. A direct hit from Narine cut short Prabhsimran’s stay at the crease.

Bairstow roars back to form with ton

After a poor start to the IPL 2024 season, Jonny Bairstow returned to form in thunderous fashion, as he carted the bowlers to all parts after the early impetus from Prabhsimran. From taking on Narine and Roy to showcasing his brute strength in the middle overs, Bairstow rushed to his century in 45 balls. He completed his half-century, his first of this season, in just 23 balls. Only twice before this had Bairstow crossed the double digit mark in six innings, and KKR would wonder what better they could have done with the ball.

Narine keeps it tight again

On an evening when every bowler was hammered for runs aplenty, Narine conceded just 24 in his four overs and dismissed Rilee Rossouw. The Caribbean icon was given the ball in the powerplay and he was relatively inexpensive. However, he ran the show from one end in the middle overs, giving away almost nothing to Bairstow and Rossouw initially and later Shashank Singh. In a tournament where Narine the batter has been stealing headlines, scoring the most runs for the franchise (357 runs, SR: 184.02), Narine the bowler has given away runs at a meagre economy of 6.96 with 10 wickets to his name.

Shashank finishes it off in style

Shashank continued his thunderous run of form as he smashed a 23-ball 50 to give a sweet finishing touch to this memorable win for PBKS. Shashank has been super impressive with the bat this season but this match would have a special place as it came in a winning cause, also helping PBKS end their four-match losing streak. In the 84-run partnership between him and Bairstow, Shashank scored 68. After a controversy in the IPL auction pool, Shashank has emerged as one of the feel-good stories of the ongoing season.