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IPL desk in Mumbai 05 May 2012 - 08:06pm IST

Report: Match 47 – KKR v PWI

All-round show from KKR thwarts PWI’s spirited comeback

Sourav Ganguly couldn’t make his Eden Gardens return a happy one as the Kolkata Knight Riders defeated the Pune Warriors India by seven runs. The closely-fought encounter was peppered with aggressive plays from both sides. But KKR showed more fight at the end to fortify their position at the No.2 spot in the IPL points table.

Chasing 151 for the win, PWI didn’t get off to a good start. South African speedster Marchant de Lange made his presence felt right from the beginning. Michael Clarke was bowled after making just one run. While Robin Uthappa’s (16) uppish drive found Lakshmi Ratan Shukla to give de Lange his second wicket of the night. Manish Pandey (17) looked in fine nick, but his attempted hoick only managed to find Debabrata Das as PWI were reduced to 49 for three.

The Knight Riders were rampant in the early stages as they took two further wickets in the form of Minthun Manhas (1) and Steven Smith (14). Manhas mistimed a pull off Jacques Kallis, while Smith was unlucky to be given lbw after getting an inside edge off Sunil Narine. At 55 for five, PWI required a miracle second-half comeback with the bat to stay in the game. Sourav Ganguly and Angelo Mathews provided the away side a glimmer of hope with their attacking strokeplay. Mathews took a liking to Yusuf Pathan in the 15th as he smashed the KKR all-rounder for three consecutive sixes to give the away side some momentum.

Ganguly (36) couldn’t quite see his side through after holing out at mid-wicket off Rajat Bhatia. Wayne Parnell was the next to go, when he was run-out after making just one run. With 18 required off the last over, de Lange managed to restrict the Warriors’s score to 143 for eight to ensure the home team won by seven runs.

Earlier, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to bat first on the Eden Gardens wicket. The aggressive intentions of the Knight Riders were clear right from the outset. Openers Gautam Gambhir and Brendon McCullum went about scoring runs with utmost ease. The duo seemed in to be complete control while dominating the Warriors’ bowlers. The KKR skipper was particularly harsh on anything lose on his way to smashing a 36-ball 56. McCullum played the role of a support attacker to perfection; often striking the ball with power and precision.

If the first 10 overs belonged to KKR, the remaining 10 were reserved for a brilliant PWI comeback with the ball. The home side was cruising along till Gambhir smashed a Murali Kartik full-toss straight into the hands of Mithun Manhas at long-off. McCullum (42) couldn’t continue his good form after being adjudged lbw off an Angelo Mathews delivery. At 115 for two, the Knight Riders found themselves suddenly on the back foot. PWI sensed an opportunity to press home the advantage and they did just that, by dismissing Jacques Kallis (1), Yusuf Pathan (11) and Laskshmi Ratan Shukla (0) cheaply. The away side pulled things back brilliantly in the final 10 overs to eventually restrict KKR to a modest 150 for five in 20 overs.

Scorecard

Man-of-the-match: Sunil Narine (4-1-13-1) for keeping the Pune Warriors batsmen under check with his incisive spin bowling

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