Mohali: Kings XI Punjab held onto a narrow four-run win against Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday thanks to Azhar Mahmood's spell of 3 for 21 after he drew a blank with the bat.
Azhar Mahmood, along with David Hussey and Gurkeerat Maan, fell prey to Sunil Narine's hat-trick effort at the PCA Stadium but converted his failure with the bat into success with the ball when he sent back key Kolkata batsmen Jacques Kallis, Eoin Morgan and Debabrata Das to help his team to its second win of the season - by four runs.
The bowling effort pleased Mahmood no end. "Kallis is one of the best allrounders in the world and Eoin Morgan, he is a finisher. I have played a lot of cricket against him, so I know his strength and weakness. I bowled in the middle when it was crucial to get a wicket, and I got a wicket for my team. I am quite pleased with that after getting a duck," the Pakistani allrounder, who is now an England citizen, told the IPL website.
Mahmood also praised Man-of-the-Match Manpreet Gony who stroked an 18-ball 42 to lift Punjab from 99 for 6 to 157 in 20 overs. Punjab, Mahmood said, were missing a hitter like Gony lower down the order.
"He smashed the ball very well and that's what we need in the lower order. We were missing someone like him coming down the order and getting some quick runs, so quite pleased with his performance. He is a good asset for our team," Mahmood said.
The win pushed Punjab up to fifth position on the leaderboard with two wins and two losses in four matches so far.