New Delhi: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) produced a good fight in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), but at the end Andre Russell's last over proved the difference between the teams at Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
The West Indian all-rounder produced a four-for, and also affected a brilliant run-out in the final over to give KKR their sixth win of the season.
After winning the toss, Murali Vijay put the hosts into bat even as talks of rain in Kolkata dominated the pre-match build-up.
It was a slow start from KKR openers, but one again, Robin Uthappa (70 off 49) and Gautam Gambhir (54 off 45) laid in 13.3 overs to give themselves a good foundation.
But, some good death bowling from KXIP mean that the first the target was 164 on top of a challenging pitch.
Three wickets in the first innings were attributed to run outs, and not a single bowler managed to put their authority despite the pitch being a slow, slow one.
Punjab's chase started off to a bad start with Marcus Stoinis falling in the first over itself. Then by the fourth over, they were down three with only 13 runs. And by the ninth over, Punjab have lost four wickets.
But a brilliant innings from Glenn Maxwell (68 off 42) helped Punjab pose a late fight-back. Maxwell's LBW, while trying a reverse sweep against the turn in the 16th over effectively ended the match.
Then, David Miller (13 off 18) departed soon, after a patient but frustrating looking innings.
However, Axar Patel (21 off 7) hit two sixes off the two first balls he faced, and there's still a fight.
Needing 22 from 12 overs, Morne Morkel leaked 10 in the penultimate over.
Then, the West Indian all-rounder arrived, once again. Three wickets, including a superb run-out off his own his bowling to send back Patel, and four runs to the batting side.
His figures, 4-0-20-4 was as good as it gets. Yes, earlier, he hit a six and a four in his 10-ball innings.
With the win, KKR have displaced Gujarat Lions at the top of IPL match.
In his four overs, Russell managed to bowl 15 dot balls, those back-to-back sixes to Patel were only boundaries he leaked.
He efforts with the ball was ably supported by Piyush Chawla (4-0-27-2), who was donning the main spinner's role in the absence of Sunil Narine.
Morkel, who also took a wicket, also conceded 27 runs and the South African pacer proved a reliable bowler for Gautam Gambhir in the middle overs.
In contrast, Vijay lacked penetrative bowlers in the Punjab ranks, even though they managed to restrict the KKR innings under 170.
New ball bowler Sandeep Sharma was impressive for his 4-figures of 4-0-25-0, so thus Patel. The spinner leaked only 24 runs, but the lack of wickets hurt them in the end they failed the chase by seven runs.
Kings thus remained at the bottom of the table, four points from eight matches. Knight Riders have twelve points from nine matches, same as Gujarat's but superior on net run-rate.