24th May: Mumbai Indians v R. Royals, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
Kolkata Knight Riders 136-4 beat
Pune Warriors 102-8 by 34 runs
Indian Premier League 2012, Pune
Kolkata Knight Riders confirmed their second spot in the Indian Premier League 2012 table, beating Pune Warriors by 34 runs.
Pune ended a difficult season with a disappointing performance in front of their home crowd, never really getting on terms.
Kolkata won the toss and elected to bat first. Skipper Gautam Gambhir was out for 10 runs (12 balls, one four) but Brendon McCullum kept on going at the other end.
They were separated in the fifth over, the score reading 21 for one. Jacques Kallis was out cheaply too, for 13 runs, bowled by Michael Clarke. Gambhir was removed by Wayne Parnell, who also took the wicket of McCullum but not before the new Zealander had seen Kolkata to a fighting total.
He scored 41 runs off 43 balls, hitting five fours and was involved in a 67-run partnership with Shakib Al Hasan. Hasan outscored McCullum by one run, making 42 runs off only 30 balls, as he provided a little momentum in the end.
He hit three fours and two sixes, getting out to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 19th over as Kolkata finished at 136 for four.
Parnell with two for 18 was the best bowler for Pune, while Kumar and Clarke took one for 23 and one for 27 in their four-over spells respectively.
Kolkata boast the best bowling attack in the tournament and they came to the fore once again, almost as if practicing for the play-offs. It showed as opener Jesse Ryder top scored with 22 runs.
He lost partner Robin Uthappa early, out for 8 runs. With Clarke (13 off 18 balls), he put up 40 runs for the second wicket, the only decent partnership of the innings but they were both dismissed by Yusuf Pathan within ten balls and the slide for Pune started.
Kolkata’s spin-based attack came to the fore as Shakib, Yusuf, Sunil Narine and Iqbal Abdullah spun a web around them.
From 56 for three in the tenth over, Pune collapsed to 97 for eight in the 19th over as the runs just wouldn’t come. Only Anustup Majumdar (17 off 22 balls) and Callum Ferguson (12 off 18 balls) were able to reach double digits. Sourav Ganguly was out leg before to Shakib for five as Pune were restricted to 102 for eight.
Pathan was their best bowler with two for 12 in two overs, while Shakib finished his spell with two for 18. Narine, Abdullah, L Balaji and Rajat Bhatia took a wicket apiece.
Kolkata now take on table toppers Delhi Daredevils in the first play-off at Pune on Tuesday.
Meanwhile Mumbai Indians have already finished third, while the fourth spot is a toss-up between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings and will be decided on Sunday.
© Cricket World 2012
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