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Kolkata Knight Riders kept themselves in the hunt for a spot in the last four, of the Pepsi IPL 2013, with a convincing eight wicket win over Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday night. KKR, after restricting RR to just 132 on a slow wicket, chased down the target on the back of an unbroken 78-run partnership between Yusuf Pathan and Jacques Kallis.
Chasing a modest 133, KKR openersGautam Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla started positively. Bisla stepped down the track toAnkeet Chavan and launching him over the fence. Bisla then proceeded to hit Shane Watson for consecutive boundaries. RR finally got their first breakthrough as Watson had Gambhir (12) stumped. KKR made 48 from their power play.
Bisla (29) departed in the eighth over caught by Ajinkya Rahane off Chavan. Yusuf Pathan thumped Chavan for a massive six before Jacques Kallis followed it with a handsome hit for maximum off Brad Hogg. At the halfway stage, KKR were 82 for 2, needing just 51 more runs.
Pathan continued his assault with a six off Stuart Binny before another massive one off Hogg. Kallis ticked the scoreboard over, while Pathan played his strokes and remained unbeaten on 49. Kallis sealed the run-chase with a boundary, helping his team go past the finish line with 16 balls to spare.
Earlier RR won the toss and elected to bat. After a quiet couple of overs, Watson smashed Sumit Narwal for consecutive boundaries in the third over. Sachithra Senanayake outfoxed Rahane (6) to have him stumped. Iqbal Abdulla then struck having James Faulkner (1) caught by Gambhir. RR made 34 from their power play. Sanju Vishwanadh pulled Abdulla for a six in the 9th over. RR were 71 for one at the halfway stage.
Sunil Narine trapped Watson (35) leg before wicket before Senanayake got Dishant Yagnik (10) to chop one onto his stumps to leave RR four down. Sanju continued to attack, depositing Senanayake over the fence. With the ball keeping low, boundaries were difficult to come by for RR. Sanju (40), who was put down on 37 by Bisla off Narine, perished in the 18th over caught by Kallis off Rajat Bhatia. Kallis sent Owais Shah's (24) leg stump flying in the final over as RR finished at 132 for 6.
Man-of-the-Match: Yusuf Pathan
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 132 for 6 (Sanju Vishwanadh 40, Sachithra Senanayake 2-26) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 133 for 2 in 17.2 overs (Yusuf Pathan 49*, Shane Watson 1-21) by 8 wickets.
Chasing a mammoth 188, Aaron Finchthumped Moises Henriques for a six in the third over before dragging the ball back onto his stumps the next ball. PWI made 39 for one from the Power Play. Suman (11) was put down twice, but his luck finally ran out as Muralitharan ran him out in the seventh over. PWI pushed on as Yuvraj Singh hit two sixes off Henriques in the 9th over. Robin Uthappa joined in hitting Muralitharan for a maximum in the tenth over. At the halfway stage, PWI were 77 for 2 still needing 111 runs. Vinay Kumar then struck twice in his second over – the 11th over of the innings – when he dismissed Yuvraj Singh (16) and Steven Smith (48). Uthappa slammed his Karnataka teammate for a six, before Angelo Mathews followed suit and hit one off Murali Kartik. Uthappa reached his fifty in style when he dispatched RP Singh for six over midwicket.
Needing 66 off the final five overs, Muralitharan was taken apart for 21 runs with three sixes. Vinay Kumar broke the partnership when he had Mathews (32) caught by Chris Gayle at point. Uthappa continued with a six off Vinay Kumar. Murali Kartik sent back Abhishek Nayar (1) and the dangerous Uthappa (75) in the 18th over to leave PWI needing 28 off the last two overs. PWI eventually fell 17 runs short.
Earlier electing to bat on a pitch with inconsistent bounce, RCB started cautiously as Saurabh Tiwaryand Gayle struggled to play their shots. RCB managed only 30 runs from their power play overs. Gayle (21) smashed Tirumalasetti Suman for a massive six before perishing the next delivery caught in the deep byBhuvneshwar Kumar.
Virat Kohli hit Yuvraj Singh for three boundaries in the 11th over. Ashoke Dinda broke the 63-run second wicket partnership when he rattled the timber of Kohli (25). Tiwary slammed Rahul Sharma for a six as he brought up his first half-century for RCB. Dinda had Tiwary (52) caught by Sharma, before de Villiers dispatched him for two boundaries. Henriques (27*) then hit consecutive boundaries off Sharma before he slammed a six off Dinda. AB de Villiershelped his team finish on a high as he scored a half-century off 23 balls; he scored 26 of the final over to help his team to 187 for three.
Man-of-the-Match: AB de Villiers Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 187 for 3 (Saurabh Tiwary 52, Ashoke Dinda 2-52) defeated Pune Warriors India 170 for 9 (Robin Uthappa 75, Vinay Kumar 3-31) by 17 runs.