Kolkata trounce Bangalore
Gautam Gambhir contributed a fifty before Lakshmipathy Balaji nabbed four wickets as the Kolkata Knight Riders trounced the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 42 runs in their IPL match in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Gambhir cruised to 64 off 39 balls with eight fours and a six as Kolkata posted 165 for eight before seamer Balaji captured 4-18 off four overs as Bangalore stumbled to 123 for nine.
Balaji, at one stage, had figures of 2.1-1.5-3 as Bangalore crashed to 33 for five with Cheteshwar Pujara (6), Chris Gayle (2), Virat Kohli (6), AB de Villiers (10) and Mayank Agarwal (5) all dismissed cheaply.
Jacques Kallis played a vital role with the new ball as he picked up two early wickets to finish with 2-7 off two overs.
Daniel Vettori (20) and Saurabh Tiwary (18) tried to repair the damage with a sixth-wicket stand of 27 but their defiance was ended when Balaji bowled Vettori while Tiwary was caught at deep midwicket off the bowling of medium-pacer Ryan ten Doeschate.
Vinay Kumar (24) was the only other batsman to offer much in the way of resistance before he was caught at long-on off the last ball of the match, bowled by left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan.
The win was Kolkata’s first after two defeats while Bangalore have now won one and lost one of their two matches.
Kolkata had earlier seemed set for a massive total as they raced to 125 for one in the 14th over after being asked to bat but they proceeded to lose seven wickets for the addition of just 29 runs.
Pacemen Zaheer Khan (2-31) and Kumar (2-18) and off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan (2-31) all played their part in restricting Kolkata’s run-scoring.
Gambhir reached his fifty, off just 28 balls, in fine style as he lofted a delivery from Kumar over extra cover for four after Kolkata, after being asked to bat, were given a flying start thanks to Kallis (22) and Gambhir as the pair thrashed 60 runs for the first wicket off 6.2 overs.
Gambhir was in a particularly aggressive mood and he pummelled 15 runs off the fourth over of the innings, bowled by seamer Harshal Patel.
Kallis eventually departed to left-arm spinner Vettori when he edged a delivery to keeper De Villiers but Manvinder Bisla and Gambhir continued to score freely in a second-wicket partnership of 65.
The right-handed Bisla, sent in as a pinch-hitter, played his role to perfection as he thundered his way to 46 off 29 balls, with two fours and three sixes, before he was stumped off the bowling of Muralitharan to start Kolkata’s slide.
Gambhir was dismissed in the 17th when he reverse-swept a delivery from left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan to the fielder at short third man.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE – Chris Gayle, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers (wk), Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Daniel Vettori (capt), Vinay Kumar, Harshal Patel, Zaheer Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS – Jacques Kallis, Gautam Gambhir (capt), Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Manvinder Bisla (wk), Rajat Bhatia, Laxmi Shukla, Brett Lee, Lakshmipathy Balaji.