Arshdeep Singh
Punjab Kings' Arshdeep Singh celebrates the dismissal of Kolkata Knight Riders' Mandeep Singh during their match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, in Mohali on Saturday. Image Credit: ANI

Mohali: Fast bowler Arshdeep Singh and Bhanuka Rajapaksa spurred Punjab Kings to a seven-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method in a rain-marred game in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.

Left-armer Arshdeep picked up 3-19 as Kolkata — in pursuit of a 192-run target — had reached 146-7 in 16 overs before heavy rain took the players off the field.

Rajapaksa (50) of Sri Lanka had earlier hit a 30-ball half-century with captain Shikar Dhawan (40) and Sam Curran (26 not out) making solid contributions in Punjab’s strong total of 191-5.

Arshdeep was effective with his short pitched deliveries that saw him take two quick wickets before the left-armer returned and took the vital wicket of Impact Player Venkatesh Iyer (34) with another short ball just before rain arrived.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz (22), who welcomed Sam Curran with a six and a four, was clean bowled by Nathan Ellis as Kolkata slipped to 3-29 inside the first five overs.

Captain Nitesh Rana, leading Kolkata for the first time this season, made a rapid 24 with three fours and a six before he gifted his wicket when he slashed hard at unorthodox spinner Sikander Raza and was caught at point.

Top-scorer Andre Russell (35) revived the run-chase with a 30-ball half century stand with Iyer before Curran had the hard-hitting West Indian caught at wide mid-wicket and Arshdeep got the vital wicket of Iyer.

Earlier, Rajapaksa and Dhawan provided Punjab a perfect launching pad with a 86-run second wicket stand as the home team reached 100-2 by the halfway stage.

Rajapaksa dominated the spin threat of Sunil Narine (1-40) while Tim Southee (2-54) and Shardul Thakur (0-43) were also expensive.

Leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy (1-26) and Umesh Yadav (1-27) pulled back Punjab in the latter half with Chakravarthy had Dhawan clean bowled off a a delivery that skidded through the left-hander and Rajapaksa holed out at long-on just after completing his half century with five boundaries and two sixes.

Curran then played a little cameo off 17 balls that featured two sixes and Shahrukh Khan (11 not out) hit two fours to propel Punjab’s total.

Brief scores:
Punjab Kings 191/5 in 20 overs (Bhanuka Rajapaksa 50, Shikhar Dhawan 40; Tim Southee 2-54, Varun Chakravarthy 1-26) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 146/7 in 16 overs (Andre Russell 35, Venkatesh Iyer 34; Arshdeep 3-19, Rahul Chahar 1-12) by seven runs (via DLS method)