IPL 2013: Kolkata Hold Their Nerve To Beat Bangalore
Kolkata Knight Riders 116-5 (Kallis 41) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 115-9 by 5 wickets
Indian Premier League 2013, Ranchi
Report by Chetan Narula
Kolkata Knight Riders dealt a huge blow to Royal Challengers Bangalore’s hopes of a top-four finish in the Indian Premier League 2013, beating them by five wickets at Ranchi.
With this win, Kolkata themselves move on to 12 points from 14 matches, keeping their mathematical chance of a play-off place alive while Bangalore are placed fourth in the table with 16 points from 14 matches and two home games remaining.
Kolkata won the toss and skipper Gautam Gambhir elected to field first, reading that the pitch was slow. He even started with a spinner, Sachithra Senanayake (1-18) striking early to remove Cheteshwar Pujara (5).
Scoring was not quick as the wicket supported the slower bowlers, a trademark of Knight Riders' home games. This was best reflected in Chris Gayle's hitting, as he made 33 runs off 36 balls, with one four and one six, a strike-rate lower than 100.
Virat Kohli (17) also couldn’t replicate his form from the match against Delhi Daredevils where he had scored 99. Thereafter, Sunil Narine came to the fore and wrapped up the middle order very quickly, picking up figures of four for 22 from his four overs.
Moises Henriques (11) and Ranganath Vinay Kumar (14 not out) were the only ones able to get into double figures, as Bangalore were restricted to a paltry 115 for nine.
Lakshmipathy Balaji (2-22) and Jacques Kallis (2-17) were the other wicket-takers.
Kolkata, however, made heavy weather of their chase, losing Manvinder Bisla for a duck off the second ball of their innings, Ravi Rampaul (1-17) doing the early damage.
Gambhir (14) was the next to go with the score at 31 for two but a stable 30-run partnership between Kallis and Yusuf Pathan (18) did not allow any more quick wickets and dashed Bangalore’s hopes.
Pathan was out in the 11th over, but Kallis added another 35 runs with Manoj Tiwary to close the gap. He top scored with 41 runs, hitting four fours, as the finish line came in sight.
Tiwary (24) fell before the victory mark, Vinay Kumar (2-17) picking up his second wicket of the game. Yet, the target was too small to be defended with only one full-time spinner in Murali Kartik and Kolkata won with four balls to spare.
© Cricket World 2013
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