The SKYCITY Northern Knights face an uphill battle to make the Champions League Twenty20 semi finals after suffering a 120 run defeat to the Kings XI Punjab. An aggressive 102 opening stand from Manan Vohra and Virender Sehwag set the innings up for Kings XI, while the Knights struggled in the turning conditions, and were rolled for 95 in the sixteenth over at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali.
The Knights bowled first after winning the toss and were immediately put to the sword by Sehwag and Vohra, with the latter taking successive boundaries from Trent Boult's opening over. The pair looked extremely comfortable playing their shots, putting the Knights bowlers away to all parts of the ground and achieving a run-rate of ten runs per over from the outset.
On an evening where the ball didn't swing as much as the Knights would have liked,Trent Boult had Vohra caught by Ish Sodhi in the ninth over for 65 from 32 balls; Sodhi accounted for the dangerous Glenn Maxwell (caught by Tim Southee for seven) and Scott Kuggeleijn removed Sehwag (lbw for 52 from 37).
David Miller came to the crease to finish the Kings XI innings with some power hitting, striking 40 runs from 18 balls to lift his team to 215-5.
The Knights included an extra batsman in Dan Harris, but never looked like chasing down the large total after Kane Williamson went for 20 from 15 in the sixth over, and Devcich for 28 from 15 - caught attempting a reverse sweep. After Daniel Flynn was adjudged lbw to Karanveer Singh in the ninth over, it was one-way traffic.
The Knights lower order failed to adapt, losing their last six batsmen for 21 runs, with Kings XI legspinner Karanveer Singh the main beneficiary, taking four wickets for just 15 runs.
The SKYCITY Northern Knights now sit fourth in their group with a net run rate of -3.655 and would require a complicated permutation to make the semi finals. Their last group match is against the Barbados Tridents at 2.30am Wednesday morning NZ time.