KKR hold Punjab to 138/8

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Mohali, April 19 (IANS) Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), led by mystery spinner Sunil Narine’s 2-22 once again put up a brilliant performance with the ball to restrict Kings XI Punjab to 138/8 in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium here on Tuesday.

Besides Narine, South African speedster Morne Morkel returned 2-27. For Kings XI, Shaun Marsh top scored with an unbeaten 41-ball 56.

The hosts had a steady beginning even though they lost Manan Vohra (8) early. Murali Vijay and Marsh then got together to stitch together a 26-run partnership and at the end of the powerplay, the Kings had put on a decent 41/1.

However, Vijay failed to pick a Piyush Chawla googly and was cleaned up in eighth over.

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Wriddhiman Saha, who replaced the right-hander, looked uncomfortable out in the middle. He missed out on a few opportunities and then knicked one through to the wicket-keeper.

Shaun Marsh, who had come out to bat at No.3 battled hard so that the scoreboard kept ticking along but at the other end wickets kept tumbling.

Next to edge one to the keeper, Uthappa was captain David Miller who went back to the dug out after scoring just 6 runs. At that stage Kings XI were struggling at 72/4 in the 13th over.

After a few boundaries from the bat of Marsh, the slide continued for Punjab with Glen Maxwell picking out Chawla at cover with a reverse sweep.

The hundred finally came up in the 16th over with Akshar Patel accompanying Marsh, but the latter did not last long either.

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But Marsh stayed till the end to ensure his team scraped through to a decent total. The last over from Andre Russell produced 18 runs as the Kings signed off with some momentum.

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