Kallis stalls RCB in Ranchi
A poor batting performance on a sluggish surface saw RCB finish their marathon away stretch of IPL 6 with a 5 wicket loss against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi on Sunday evening.
Gautam Gambhir won the toss and on the slow pitch with a chance of rain later he wasted no time in putting RCB in to bat first. L Balaji and Sachithra Senanayake, who came in for Eoin Morgan in the KKR line up bowled a tight opening spell that culminated in the dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara for a 14 ball 5 in the fifth over.
Kohli got the innings going with his 17 (14b 2x4) but his threatening innings was cut short when he chopped one onto his stumps off Kallis (2/17). Chris Gayle was biding his time at the other end, waiting for the right moment to break free. He managed to take runs off Ryan ten Doeschate’s medium pace offerings but could not find the boundaries off Rajat Bhatia and Senanayake (1/18) who kept taking the pace off the ball. He was finally stumped off Sunil Narine’s bowling for a highly uncharacteristic 33 (36b 1x4 1x6) in the fourteenth over, leaving RCB at 70/3.
AB de Villiers ended the boundary drought that had affected the RCB innings since the end of the 8th over, craftily scooping Rajat Bhatia at the end of the 14th over and hitting Balaji (2/22) for a six over extra cover in the next over. He was gone for 28 (22b 1x4 1x6) off the next ball though, trying to scoop the exact same ball.
Narine trapped Saurabh Tiwary LBW for just 1 on his home ground before snaring Ravi Rampaul and Abhimanyu Mithun in his last over to finish with a superb 4/22. AB’s dismissal saw RCB go from 95/3 in 15.4 overs to 115/9 at the end of 20 overs.
Rampaul (1/17) gave RCB the perfect start to a small defense, getting the dangerous Manvinder Bisla out for a second ball duck, caught at point by Henriques. He could have had Jacques Kallis for 3 too but Mithun misjudged the top edge at fine leg and let the ball go for four.
Gautam Gambhir then heaped punishment on Mithun, hitting him for three consecutive fours in the next over. Vinay Kumar then brought RCB back in the game, getting Gambhir (14 15b 3x4) to edge a delivery to Gayle at slips, leaving KKR at 31/2.
Yusuf Pathan and Jacques Kallis put up a dangerous looking 30 run partnership for the 3rd wicket before Kartik Murali (1/17) trapped the former LBW for 18 (16b 1x4 1x6). Kallis however held up one end superbly, milking the bowling in a 35 run stand for the third wicket with Manoj Tiwary.
He decided to accelerate with 29 runs needed off the last 4 overs, hitting two fours off Mithun (1/32) but was caught at mid on trying to go for another boundary. Following Kallis’s dismissal for 41 (45b 4x4), KKR lost their other set batsman when Tiwary (24 27b 3x4) hit a full toss off VInay (2/17) straight to Kohli at covers in the next over. KKR finished the over on 105/5, needing 11 off the last two. Unadkat did well to keep them to 6 runs in the penultimate over but Ryan ten Doeschate calmly got the winning runs to seal a 5 wicket win for Kolkata. Kallis was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 2/17 and match-winning 41.
RCB remain on 16 points in the points table, level with Sunrisers on points but with 2 games remaining to RCB’s 3.