Mohali:A gutsy fight-back took Kolkata Knight Riders close to an unlikely win, but Kings XI Punjab were better on the day, winning by nine runs at Mohali's PCA Stadium.
To put the result into perspective, it all came down to how each time batted in their last over. Kings XI looked like they would make an under-par when Piyush Chawla smashed 21 from their last over, from Ishant Sharma, to take his team to 178-6.
With David Hussey and Wriddhiman Saha matching each other six for six, Kolkata reduced the equation to 19 from six balls, to be bowled by Irfan Pathan. But they made just nine, and slumped to their fourth straight loss in the Indian Premier League.
The two teams came into this came with contrasting fortunes. The Knights had lost three after winning their first two games, while the Kings had lost two and then won three.
Kings started off on a steady note, with the young Shaun Marsh providing an impressive 40. However, their run rate stalled around the time Kumar Sangakkara retired hurt with a side strain and Saha picked up two stumpings --- of captain Yuvraj Singh and Marsh.
Umar Gul turned in inexpensive figures of 4-0-27-2, picking up Mahela Jayawardene and Sangakkara, who came out to bat with a runner.
A score of 160 would not have been enough on a wonderful batting wicket. And that's where Chawla's assault beefed up the score, making it appear a little more attractive.
When Kolkata batted, Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan got the ball to move about. Pathan's sharp in-swinger to the right-hander troubled Kolkata's batsmen, as did Sreesanth's outswinger. Kolkata were soon reduced to 5-50 in the 10th over --- and the game seemed done and dusted.
In walked Hussey and Saha. With Sreesanth and Pathan done with their initial spell, the duo butchered the lesser bowlers. Gagandeep Singh went for 4-0-43-0, James Hopes 3-0-35-0, Chawla 1-0-16-0, and it had Kolkata sniffing a win.
The two added 100 in 52 balls, Hussey reaching his fifty in 38 balls and Saha in 28. But Pathan was hard to get away in the final over.
With the now, Kings XI now rest at No. 4 in the points table, ahead of Kolkata who have now fallen to No. 5.