Afghan teen’s super spell sets up IPL win
AFGHANISTAN'S 17-year-old spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has taken three wickets in four balls and propelled Kings XI Punjab to a six-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.
Earlier, allrounder Hardik Pandya kept defending champion Mumbai Indians in contention with a 13-run victory over Mitchell Johnson and Chris Lynn's Kolkata Knight Riders at home.
Mujeeb's 3-27 restricted Rajasthan to 9-152 as their multi-million dollar signings were baffled by the young Afghan spinner after Kings XI captain Ravichandran Ashwin opted to field. Australian paceman Andrew Tye chipped in with 2-24 from his four overs before his side then scored 4-155 in 18.4 overs. Big Bash League power-hitter D'Arcy Short lived up to his name for Rajasthan, falling for two from as many balls.
Kings XI's opener Lokesh Rahul (84 off 54 balls) continued his supreme run of form and, despite losing Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal early, he carried the team to its sixth victory in the tournament.
"For me, this is the first knock that I would be really satisfied with because I won the game for the team," Rahul said.
Rahul hit seven fours and three sixes in his third half-century in this year's IPL and shared a 68-run stand with West Australian Marcus Stoinis, who remained unbeaten on 23.
Kings XI are now third with 12 points from six victories, two behind leaders Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings.
Rajasthan are at the bottom of the table with only three wins from nine matches. In Mumbai, Hardik hit an unbeaten 35 off 20 balls to lift his team to 4-181 after Kolkata captain Dinesh Karthik chose to field. Mitchell Johnson returned figures of 0-25 from three overs for the Knight Riders.
Hardik then took 2-19 to restrict Kolkata to 6-168 as Mumbai moved to fifth with eight points from four wins. Kolkata slipped to fourth with 10 points after winning five of 10 games.
Kolkata seemed to be cruising to victory after Robin Uthappa (54) capitalised on an early dropped catch to hit his first half-century in this year's IPL. Uthappa and Nitish Rana (31) featured in an 84-run third wicket stand after Mayank Markande dropped an easy chance at mid-on when Uthappa was on 4. Uthappa pounced on the chance, hitting six fours and three sixes, including four successive boundaries in one over off Ben Cutting.
But Markande broke through in the 13th over when Uthappa holed out in the deep to Cutting and Hardik dismissed Rana in the next over to reduce Kolkata to 4-115.
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