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Report: Match 10 – Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders
Balaji, Gambhir deliver first win for Kolkata Knight Riders
By IPL desk
Mumbai 10 April 2012
L Balaji’s four for 18, following Gautam Gambhir’s 39-ball 64, helped Kolkata Knight Riders trounce Royal Challengers Bangalore by 42 runs and win their first game of IPL 2012. After being put in to bat at the Chinnaswamy, the visitors notched up a competitive total of 165 for eight, following which they kept the hosts down to 123 for nine, to win their first points of the competition.
The match was delayed by about twenty minutes because of an electrical short circuit at the Chinnaswamy. However, once the game resumed, KKR took complete control of proceedings. Gambhir and Jacques Kallis brought up the 50-run mark in just 5.1 overs with Gambhir smashing Harshal Patel for 15 runs in the fourth over. Daniel Vettori had Kallis (22) caught by AB de Villiers in the seventh over, but there was no slowing KKR down. Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla continued the assault on the RCB bowling attack; the pair adding 65 runs in just 7.1 overs for the second wicket.
However, with the score at 125 for one, the home team fought their way back into the contest. After Bisla (46 off 29) was stumped off Muttiah Muralitharan in the 14th over, KKR lost another six wickets while adding a mere 40 runs off the last 39 deliveries in their innings. Zaheer Khan, R Vinay Kumar and Muralitharan finished with two wickets each as KKR slumped from 125 for one to 165 for eight in 20 overs. Gambhir (64, 9x4, 1x6) was the only other double-digit contributor for the visitors besides Kallis and Bisla.
Having take away the momentum at the end of the innings from their opponents, one expected RCB to take advantage of the situation. Instead, the hosts collapsed without putting up a semblance of a fight.
After Jacques Kallis had Cheteshwar Pujara (6) caught at slip and Chris Gayle (2) caught at mid-on, Lakshmipathy Balaji ripped through the RCB middle-order to leave them wobbling at 60 for six in 11.5 overs. Balaji’s victims included Virat Kohli (6), AB de Villiers (10), Mayank Agarwal (5) and Daniel Vettori (20). Ryan ten Doeschate then accounted for Saurabh Tiwary (18) while Shakib Al Hasan picked up the wickets of Harshal Patel (10) and R Vinay Kumar (25) as the visitors restricted the hosts to 123 for nine in 20 overs.
The win helps KKR to move into fifth place on the points table. RCB, on the other hand, are placed third from the bottom.
Chasing 139, Mumbai began in disastrous fashion. Dale Steyn looked in inspired form with his pace and accuracy causing the MI batsmen all sorts of trouble. Tirumalasetti Suman (5) was the first to go as he hit one straight back at Steyn, whose quick reflexes ensured that the ball stuck. The South African wasn’t done yet as he bowled out Richard Levi (3) by unleashing an unplayable yorker to clean up the right-hander’s middle stump.
At 10 for two, MI were struggling to achieve their target. Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu instilled a sense of balance to proceedings with a 48-run partnership. But leggie Amit Mishrabroke the stand after Rayudu smashed one straight to Shikhar Dhawan standing at fine-leg.
It was up to Rohit Sharma to take up the mantle of guiding MI home. The right-hander kept the scoreboard ticking, while Kieron Pollard smashedthree sixes to keep up with the required rate. The Chargers responded with a crucial breakthrough after Pollard (24) skied a Daniel Christian delivery straight into Dhawan’s welcoming arms. Dinesh Karthik (7) didn’t last long either as Steyn dismissed the right-hander.
With 18 runs required off the last over, Sharma hit a last-ball six to miraculously guide MI to a five-wicket win over the Chargers.
Earlier, Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and elected to bat. But his decision backfired right from the beginning as the Chargers were reduced to nine for two in no time. Parthiv Patel (1) nicked one to Rohit Sharma at second slip, who grabbed it on the second attempt. Bharat Chipli (1) was the next to go after he pulled one straight to mid-on off a Munaf Patel delivery.
MI were on top early on, but Shikhar Dhawan’s (41) effective counter-offensive ensured that the pressure was back on the visitors. But the aggressive left-hander’s innings came to an abrupt end after he mistimed a Lasith Malinga slower delivery for a catch to leave the Chargers at 46 for three.
Kumar Sangakkara joined Daniel Christian at the crease and the duo put on a 36-run partnership before the DC skipper was eventually given out under controversial circumstances. The left-hander edged a Munaf delivery, which dislodged the bails while ricocheting into wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik’s pads and again onto the stumps. The umpires initially adjudged him not-out, but after much deliberation, the decision was referred and a dejected Sangakkara (14) had to begin his long walk to the pavilion.
Christian (39), on the other hand, continued to trudge along with ease. But, the Aussie’s time in the middle was cut short when he failed to clear the ropes and holed out at long-on to give Munaf his fourth wicket of the match. The home side upped the ante at the end, with Cameron White (30*) providing some fireworks. Some consistent bowling from Malinga and Kieron Pollard at the end ensured that the Chargers finished with a modest 138 for the loss of nine wickets.