Morgan guides Kolktata to crucial IPL win

Ahmedabad (India) (AFP) –


England captain Eoin Morgan hit a rock steady 47 to guide Kolkata Knight Riders to a convincing five-wicket win over Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League on Monday.

Punjab managed only 123 for nine off their 20 overs, with Prasidh Krishna taking three wickets for 30.

Recovering from early shocks which left them 17 for three at one stage, Kolkata reached 126 for five with 20 balls to spare.

Morgan and Rahul Tripathi put on 66 for the fourth wicket and set Kolkata on course for only their second win of the season that lifted them to mid-table in the eight-team IPL.

Tripathi scored 41 including seven fours. Morgan was unusually patient, but still managed two sixes and four fours.

After Tripathi was out, Ravi Bishnoi produced one of the catches of the season to end Sunil Narine's innings after just four balls.

Bishnoi ran 25 metres before diving in front of the boundary rope to snare Narine's big hit.

"Today the performance was really really impressive, particularly with the ball," said Morgan, acknowledging the fine bowling that secured the win.

Krishna took three middle-order wickets after Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins prised open the Punjab batting by taking captain and opener K.L. Rahul.

With a number of players having left the IPL because of the deadly coronavirus crisis hitting India, Cummins earlier donated $50,000 to buy oxygen supplies for hospitals.

"To know that so many are suffering so much at this time saddens me greatly," Cummins said on Twitter.

"There has been quite a bit of discussion over here as to whether it is appropriate for the IPL to continue while COVID-19 infection rates remain high," he added.

"I'm advised that the Indian government is of the view that playing the IPL while the population is in lockdown provides a few hours of joy and respite each day."

Cummins, who signed for Kolkata for $2 million in 2020, urged other players to donate.

"At times like this it is easy to feel helpless. I've certainly felt that of late. But I hope by making this public appeal we can all channel our emotions into action that will bring light into people's lives," he said.