KKR keeps hopes alive for last four entry

Kings XI Punjab face Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday

Kings XI Punjab face Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday

Narine hit nine boundaries and four sixes in his knock. The lack of quality alternatives in the squad, and Andre Russell's fitness issues are also hampering captain Karthik's options, the release added. Opener KL Rahul continued his blistering form and smashed 66 runs from just 29 balls.

WICKET! Karun nair has to go, Russel gets his third wicket.

Chris Gayle went for 21 as Russell got two wickets off successive deliveries in the sixth over.

Rahul and Gayle commenced the chase in style. A brief look at the playing XI suggested that the Kings XI captain was backing his opening combination to get most of the runs after he chose to field first upon winning the toss.

Tye bowled some jaffas occasionally and got wickets as well but often frayed to give away some easy runs. Two of KXIP's highest run-scorers in the tournament (Gayle - 332 and Nair - 246) were back in the pavilion with the team still needing more than 150 to win.

Following the wicket of Russell, Rana and Gill supported the skipper and played handy cameos. Slower ball from Mohit Sharma and Rana slices it straight into the air as substitute fielder David Miller runs down from long off and takes a simple catch. Later came Andre Russell and Robin Uthappa, none of whom could make it big but added very crucial 24 and 31 runs respectively. The 12th over of the innings was the best one for KXIP as their best bowler Andrew Tye (2/41in 4 overs) got rid of both Narine and Uthappa. The West Indian finally reached to his second half century of this years IPL with a single in the 9th over.

Chris Lynn was the first to lose his wicket in the 6th over in Tye's spell at score 27. Not quite. Narine's control percentage against those short balls was just 33.33%.

The Kolkata Knight Riders were able to easily defeat the Kings XI Punjab by 31 runs.

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KXI have made three changes.

When Andrew Tye dismissed both set batsmen in the 12 over, it seemed KKR would take a few overs before commencing the final assault. The visitors might find something else besides the weather that could be too hot to handle: the KXIP opening pair.

For the KXIP bowlers, that was the start of the carnage. It's possible Ashwin has found it hard to sustain what is a completely new skill for him through an entire season or that he has spotted something amiss with his technique and wants to work on it further. The Dinesh Kartik led team lost their last match against Mumbai Indians by a staggering 102 runs. Openers Lynn, Narine and Russell's form has been a huge concern for them.

Asked about the fragile middle-order batting: "It's disappointing".

In the bowling department pacers Prasidh Krishna has been impressive and once again KKR will berelying on him to bowl well. Wrist spinners Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav too could have important roles to play.

The match is scheduled to start at 4 P.M. IST on Tuesday, May 12th.

Holkar Stadium Pitch Report: The Holkar stadium is known for the batting friendly pitches on offer.

With Star India now acquiring the media rights from Sony Pictures Network India for the upcoming season, the matches will be telecast on various Star Sports channels.

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