IPL 2013: Kolkata Take Much-Needed Win Over Royals
Kolkata Knight Riders 133-2 (Pathan 49no) beat
Rajasthan Royals 132-6 by eight wickets
Indian Premier League 2013, Kolkata
Reigning Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders scored an important eight-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals that keeps their title defence alive at Eden Gardens.
They produced what was arguably their best performance of the tournament to date, holding Rajasthan to 132 for six and then powering to 133 for two inside 18 overs.
Although Shane Watson hit 35 in as many balls and Sanju Samson made an attractive 40 in 36 deliveries with a brace of sixes, Rajasthan's innings never really gained any momentum and they closed on a score that never looked like being enough.
Owais Shah made 24 in 22 balls after Ajinkya Rahane (6), James Faulkner (1) and Dinesh Yagnik (10) had all fallen cheaply.
Sachithra Senanayake returned two for 26 while Iqbal Abdulla, Jacques Kallis, Sunil Narine and Rajat Bhatia all took a wicket apiece.
Gautam Gambhir then made 12 in 14 balls but Manvinder Bisla, who had not been made to pay dearly for an appalling miss when presented with an easy chance to catch Samson earlier in the game, led the reply with 29 in 25 balls.
Watson had Gambhir stumped and Ankeet Chavan had Bisla caught by Rahane but this was a rare occasion this season where each Kolkata batsman delivered.
It was Kallis, unbeaten on 33 in 30 balls and Yusuf Pathan, who thumped 49 in 35 deliveries with three sixes, who hurried their side over the finish line, in the process also giving their net run-rate a welcome boost.
The result leaves them still down in seventh place, but now only four points down on Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad in third, fourth and fifth. Kings XI Punjab in sixth only lead on net run-rate.
© Cricket World 2013
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