Kolkata: Manvinder Bisla and Eoin Morgan provided a lifeline to defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders as the home team cruised to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab in a Pepsi Indian Premier League match on Friday.


En route to their third win in the cash-rich league, KKR chased a target of 150 with 10 balls to spare courtesy an unbeaten 51 off 44 balls (3x4, 3x6) from Bisla and a smashing 42 off 26 balls ( 3x4, 4x6) by Morgan. The duo blasted 72 runs in just over seven overs to pave the way for a smooth victory.
The win takes KKR to six points but they remain in seventh position in the league table.
Having been dropped after their shocking four-run loss to the same side in the first leg, it was a redemption time for Bisla, who also shared a crucial 66 runs with Jacques Kallis (37).
It was Manoj Tiwary's absence because of a split webbing paved the way for Bisla who showed glimpses of his last year's form in the final against Chennai Super Kings that had crowned them 2012 champions.
For the Kings XI Punjab's perspective, Mandeep dropping Bisla's catch when he had not even opened his account proved to be the big difference.
After being let down by Mandeep, Mahmood quickly turned the game around with two wickets from two balls when he bowled Gambhir and followed it up with an easy dismissal of an out-of-form Yusuf Pathan.
But for a change, the Knight Riders who were tottering at 10/2 showed some fine application with Bisla grabbing the opportunity in his comeback match.
Kings XI Punjab had nothing going their way when Bhatt dropped a Morgan sitter at mid-wicket as Bisla went on to complete a deserving half-century.
Earlier, a quickfire 15-ball 28 not out by Gurkeerat Singh after the handy contributions from the middle order -- Manan Vohra (31), Adam Gilchrist (27), Mandeep Singh (25) and David Hussey (21) -- helped the team post the modest total.
On a day, when the KKR's spin ploy did not work, Kallis (4-0-14-2) with two crucial wickets in Mandeep and Hussey ensured that the home side did not let the Kings off the hook.
It was one of the rare day when Purple cap holder Sunil Narine went wicketless (4-0-22-0), while Sachithra Senanayake and legspinner Sarabjit Ladda conceded 47 runs from six overs together.
Gilchrist soon got into the act when he took on Senanayake resulting in 12 runs as they were 45 for no loss at the end of powerplay before Kallis made his presence felt.

Teams (from):
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (C), Yusuf Pathan, Jaques Kallis, Manvinder Bisla, Eoin Morgan, Debabrata Das, Rajat Bhatia, Sachithra Senanayake, Sunil Narine, Sarabjit Ladda and Laxmipati Balaji.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (C), Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra, David Hussey, Azhar Mahmood, David Miller, Gurkeerat Singh, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Harmeet Singh and Bharghav Bhatt.


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