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Gambhir-Uthappa partnership takes Kolkata close to play-off

Gautam Gambhir had an outstanding day with the bat
Gautam Gambhir had an outstanding day with the bat

Kolkata Knight Riders 161-3 (Gambhir 71no) beat
Delhi Daredevils 160-6 (Samson 60) by seven wickets
32nd match, Indian Premier League, Kolkata

Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa scored fluent knocks of 71 and 59 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders consolidated their position at top chasing down 161 runs against Delhi Daredevils with seven wickets in hand in the 32nd game of Indian Premier League at Eden Gardens.

Kolkata won the toss and decided to field first. Sanju Samson (60) and Karun Nair (15) scored seven boundaries and a six between them in the first four overs to take the score to 41 for naught.

Sunil Narine (1-25) trapped Nair out LBW in his first over as Delhi Daredevils ended the powerplay at 53 for one. Between overs seven and 11, Delhi managed only 30 runs as their momentum were dented a bit.

With a six to deep square leg, Samson completed a 32-ball fifty while Shreyas Iyer (47) also stepped up the accelerator a bit. Umesh Yadav (1-38) ended the 75-run stand when he accounted for Samson while Nathan Coulter-Nile (3-34) produced a double wicket 16th over in which he removed both Rishabh Pant (6) and Iyer.

Delhi could manage only 20 runs in the final four overs and were restricted to 160 for seven in their innings.

In the chase, Kolkata lost Narine (4) early, castled by Kagiso Rabada (2-20). However, Gambhir (71 not out) and Uthappa (59) ensured Kolkata ended the powerplay at 47 for one. During that phase, Uthappa was handed a reprieve when both Amit Mishra (0-36) and Samson converged at a catch and both decided to withdraw at the last moment.

Gambhir struck two boundaries in the seventh over from Mishra while Uthappa plundered two sixes and a boundary in the eighth over from Morris (0-39).

Uthappa brought his fifty in the 10th over but an indecision in running saw him run out two overs later and soon Rabada returned back to dismiss Manish Pandey (5).

However, Gambhir showed a lot of determination and was supported by a five-ball cameo from Sheldon Jackson (12 not out) as Kolkata completed the chase in 16.2 overs with seven wickets in hand. Gambhir was also named the player of the match.

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