Mohali: Gautam Gambhir slammed an unbeaten 66 to power Kolkata Knight Riders to an emphatic 8-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab at the PCA stadium on Wednesday night.
After restricting Punjab to a modest 124/7, Gambhir displayed a sensible batting to guide his side to an easy win, settling score with Punjab for their last match defeat at Eden Gardens.
For Punjab Piyush Chawla claimed two wickets of Manvinder Bisla and Brendon McCullum.
Kolkata Knight Riders produced a disciplined bowling and fielding display to restrict Kings XI Punjab to 124/7 at the PCA stadium on Wednesday.
Opting to bat, Kings XI batsmen never got going as the home team lost wickets at regular intervals to be restricted to the modest total.
Captain Adam Gilchrist, who retired hurt in the sixth over with a right hamstring problem only to return later to drag his side out of trouble, top-scored with an unbeaten 40, while Shaun Marsh made a 30-ball 33 with the help of four boundaries.
Kings XI batsmen struggled from the onset against a determined KKR bowling line up and it could be gauged from the fact that only three of their batters could manage double figures.
Wily West Indian off-spinner Sunil Narine (2/24) and Brett Lee (2/26) starred with the ball for KKR, sharing four wickets between them. Laxmipathy Balaji (1/20) and Rajat Bhatia (1/23) also picked up a wicket each for the visitors.
Kings XI's last year's hero, Paul Valthaty once again disappointed as he fell early, outside edging a Brett Lee delivery to Manvinder Bisla behind the stumps in the third over.
To make matters worse for Kings XI, Gilchrist had to retired hurt in the sixth over.
Kings XI failed to get a substantial partnership as Mandeep Singh (6), Marsh, David Hussey (10), Paras Dogra (6) and Dimitri Mascarenhas (9) all departed in quick intervals.
Marsh's dismissal in the 14th over, however, turned out to be a little controversial.
The left-hander underedged an attempted cut off a Lee delivery which just seemed to have carried to Bisla behind the wicket. But the batsmen was not satisfied and walked away only after checking with the keeper.
The dismissal also brought Kings XI owner Preity Zinta on to the ground as she was not satisfied with the decision. She, however, left the field only after Gilchrist intervened.
Towards the end, Gilchrist and Piyush Chawla (9) tried their level best to shoot up the run rate but they failed to hit big shots.
Kings XI Punjab 124 for 7 (Gilchrist 40*, Lee 2-26, Narine 2-24)
Kolkata Knight Riders 127 for 2 (Gambhir 66*, Kallis 30*, Chawla 2-19)
Result Kolkata Knight Riders won by 8 wickets
Points Kolkata Knight Riders 0, Kings XI Punjab 2
MOM Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders)