Chakravarthy five-for keeps Kolkata in IPL play-off race

Dubai (AFP) –


Spinner Varun Chakravarthy claimed this Indian Premier League season's first five-wicket haul as Kolkata Knight Riders gave their play-off hopes a boost with a 59-run win over Delhi Capitals on Saturday.

In the second match of the day, England's Chris Jordan led a disciplined bowling with figures of 3-17 as Kings XI Punjab trumped Sunrisers Hyderabad by 12 runs to register their fourth successive win.

Chakravarthy's 5-20 from his four overs helped Eoin Morgan's KKR restrict Delhi to 135 for nine in their chase of 195 in Abu Dhabi.

Nitish Rana, who top-scored with 81, and returning all-rounder Sunil Narine, who hit a 32-ball 64, put on a key 115-run fourth-wicket stand to guide Kolkata to 194 for six after being put in to bat.

Morgan was all praise for Narine, who played his first game after being cleared of having a suspect bowling action.

It was his team's sixth win in 11 games to stay fourth in the eight-team table.

"Great of Sunil to come back and play as a proper all-rounder. And Nitish Rana and him adding all the runs," said Morgan.

"The decision to bat Narine there (at number five) is all the coach (Brendon McCullum). He likes to play his cards. It is all Brendon."

On Chakravarthy's mystery spin, Morgan told reporters: "He has been one of the positive stories out of our campaign so far.

"Up until today we felt we haven't played our best cricket but today I think we were close to that."

The 29-year-old Chakravarthy ran through high-flying Delhi, who stay on 14 points, behind table-toppers Mumbai Indians on net run-rate, despite a threatening 63-run partnership between skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant.

Chakravarthy broke the stand with the wicket of Pant, for 27, in his first over and then struck twice in successive deliveries to send back Shimron Hetmyer and Iyer, for 47, to dent Delhi's chase.

Kolkata's pace spearhead Pat Cummins dismissed Ajinkya Rahane with the first ball of the innings.

Cummins -- the most expensive foreign player for the 2020 season with a $2.17 million fee -- returned figures of 3-17.

It was an impressive bounce-back victory for KKR, after struggling to 84-8 in an eight-wicket thrashing by Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday.

Narine bowled four overs after being taken off the warning list for suspect bowlers following his action being reported in a game on October 10. He conceded 37 runs without taking a wicket.

- 'Winning is a habit' -

There was drama in Dubai when Punjab bowlers made Hyderabad choke in their of chase 127 after being bowled out for 114 in 19.5 overs.

A 56-run opening stand between skipper David Warner and Jonny Bairstow went in vain as Punjab came from behind to take fifth spot with five wins from 11 games.

Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi got Warner's key scalp to send the left-handed Australian back to the pavilion for 35 and the Hyderabad batting fell apart.

With Punjab needing 17 off the final two overs, man of the match Jordan bowled an excellent 19th over as he took two wickets on two balls and gave away just three runs.

Left-arm paceman Arshdeep Singh was also on a hat-trick in the final over and the Hyderabad innings packed off with a run out of Khaleel Ahmed.

"Winning is a habit, which we didn't find in the first half. Honestly, I'm speechless," said skipper KL Rahul who made 27 in his team's 126 for seven.