Kolkata Qualify, Bangalore Knocked Out
Kolkata Knight Riders 195-4 (Uthappa 83no) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 165-5 by 30 runs
Indian Premier League 2014, Kolkata
The Kolkata Knight Riders qualified for the Indian Premier League 2014 play-offs and knocked the Royal Challengers Bangalore out with a 30-run win in front of their fans at Eden Gardens.
Robin Uthappa made it an unprecedented eight consecutive scores of 40 or more with an unbeaten 83 as Kolkata built on a steady start to close on a score of 195 for four.
Yogesh Takawale, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh flickered briefly for the visitors before their target proved beyond them, closing on 165 for five.
Sunil Narine returned four for 20 to confirm Kolkata's place in the play-offs along with the Kings XI Punjab and the Chennai Super Kings.
With Bangalore out of the reckoning, the final place will go to either the Rajasthan Royals, the Sunrisers Hyderabad or the Mumbai Indians.
It was not a good start to this game for Kolkata, who lost Gautam Gambhir (4), Manish Pandey (13) and Yusuf Pathan (22) early.
Gambhir was caught by Takawale off Mitchell Starc, Pandey caught by Starc off Ashok Dinda and Pathan run out, failing to keep his bat grounded after Uthappa sent him back as he looked for a non-existent single.
In the long run, it was a good decision, as Uthappa overcame a circumspect start - justified given the match situation - to hit 10 fours and a six during his 51-ball innings of 83 not out.
He was given support by Shakib Al Hasan, who followed up a fine innings against the Chennai Super Kings, by hammering 60 in 38 balls.
The left-hander hit five fours and three sixes, taking 24 runs off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 16th over, before Abu Nechim bowled him to bring to an end a partnership worth 121 which had set Kolkata a winning platform.
Ryan ten Doeschate was unbeaten on six in three balls.
Needing to win to stay in the play-off mix and keen for a fast start, Bangalore faltered. Chris Gayle (6) was trapped in front by Umesh Yadav and just seven runs came from the first two overs.
Takawale (45 in 36 balls) and Kohli (38 in 31) launched the counter-attack with 85 runs for the second wicket but even then, runs weren't coming quickly enough as Narine, Yadav and Morne Morkel kept things tight.
Trying to force the issue, Kohli chopped Narine backward of square where Morkel pulled off a full-length catch and three balls later, Takawale was bowled by Narine.
The double strike rocked Bangalore but there was little time for them to rebuild. Yuvraj and AB de Villiers were forced to try to hit out from the start of their innings.
It worked, albeit briefly, as Yuvraj smashed 28 from the 15th over bowled by Yadav only to perish soon after, for 22 in 12 balls, caught in the deep as Narine returned with devastating effect.
Having already taken two wickets in one over, he repeated the trick to bowl de Villiers, and with his wicket, Bangalore's chances disappeared completely.
Sachin Rana (19 in 12 balls) and Starc (12 in eight) were unbeaten as Bangalore limped out of the competition.
© Cricket World 2014