Angry Kallis inspires KKR victory
The Kolkata Knight Riders salvaged some pride from a disappointing season as they hammered the Pune Warriors by 46 runs in their IPL match in Pune on Thursday.
Full Scorecard: Pune v Kolkata
Aggressive bowling by Jacques Kallis, superbly backed up by Lakshmipathy Balaji and Sunil Narine, set up an easy victory after a patient Gautam Gambhir innings and some aggressive batting from Ryan ten Doeschate set up a score of 152 for six.
Kallis set the tone for Kolkata. His first ball was driven back by Robin Uthappa, and Kallis was convinced he had got a boot to it as the ball went on to crash into the non-striker's wicket with Aaron Finch well short.
However, television umpire Simon Taufel was not as convinced and gave the batsman the benefit of the doubt, but Finch's reprieve was short-lived as an angry Kallis ripped out his off stump later in the over. Kallis was all fire and brimstone, peppering the batsmen with short deliveries.
With the scoring rate always lagging behind the required rate, Narine was miserly in taking 2-12 and Balaji wrapped things up with a superb catch off his own bowling to finish with 3-19. Kallis took some tap from Angelo Mathews but still had a good return of 2-27 while Iqbal Abdulla also impressed with 2-26.
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While Uthappa contributed a slow 31 of 35 balls at the top of the innings, only Mathews was able to show any urgency. He clubbed 40 off 28 balls with four sixes, two of them off successive Kallis deliveries as the South African bowled his second spell at the death.
Earlier, Kolkata were never able to get into top gear after choosing to bat first on a sluggish pitch. Man-of-the-Match Gambhir was the star with 50 runs off 44 balls, but it took a quick-fire 31 from Ten Doeschate off 21 balls to get things moving. The last four overs yielded 53 runs after an indifferent start, which saw KKR on 97 for five at one stage.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 3-25 to contain the Kolkata batsmen while Mitchell Marsh was under-bowled, taking 2-7 in the two overs allowed to him.
Kolkata now go level with King's XI Punjab on 10 points, but are still four points shy of the fourth placed team and remain in seventh place. For Pune, the wooden spoon for IPL 2013 is looming ever larger.
PUNE WARRIORS: RV Uthappa, AJ Finch (capt), Yuvraj Singh, AD Mathews, MR Marsh, UA Birla, M Rawat (wk), B Kumar, WD Parnell, K Upadhyay, Parvez Rasool
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: MS Bisla (wk), G Gambhir (capt), JH Kallis, YK Pathan, EJG Morgan, MK Tiwary, RN ten Doeschate, R Bhatia, Iqbal Abdulla, SP Narine, L Balaji