Kolkata bowlers get the better of Bangalore heavyweights
The Kolkata Knight Riders picked up their first win of the 2012 IPL in their effort, a 42 run win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday.
RCB would have been happy at the 165/8 that they had kept the rampaging Kolkata batsmen to after looking like they would concede more than 200 at one point.
Daniel Vettori was made to regret his decision to field first when KKR put on two explosive partnerships for their first two wickets. Gambhir (64) and Kallis (22) added 60 in just 6 overs for the first wicket before Vettori brought himself on had the latter caught behind. Wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla (46) then joined his skipper to add 65 runs for the second wicket.
Bisla’s dismissal turned out to be a turning point in the KKR innings. From 125/1, they were reduced to 154/8 as the Bangalore bowlers exploited the small foothold they had gained.
The batsmen had dominated the game till then, KKR bringing up their first and second fifties in 31 balls each and Gambhir slamming the fastest fifty of the tournament off 28 balls. After Bisla’s stumping in the 15th over off Murali (2/31), the pressure applied by a hostile Vinay (2/18), Zaheer (2/31) and Harshal (1/46) coupled with miserly bowling from Vettori (1/22) saw them take another 46 balls for their next 50. Brett Lee slammed an important 11 runs in the final over to take them to 166/5.
Lee (0/21) wasn’t done there, he opened the bowling with a deadly accurate first over. Cheteshwar Pujara hit an upper cut for a six but when Kallis (2/7) continued the tight lines in the second over, refusing to let the batsmen score easily, the pressure got to the batsmen.
Pujara (6) fell edging an angled ball to the slips while Gayle (2) mistimed a pull to be caught just past mid on, very similar to his dismissal in the Champions League game against Warriors in 2011.
Balaji continued the show and his probing line soon accounted for Virat Kohli (6), AB de Villiers (10) and Mayank Agarwal (5), reducing RCB to 33/5 in the 10th over. Saurabh Tiwary (18) led a mini recovery with Vettori (20) but Balaji (4/18) finished off his unbroken spell with the wicket of Vettori.
With Vinay Kumar (25) for company, Tiwary had no option but to hit out, his effort off Ryan ten Doeschate (1/24) only went as far as Laxmi Ratan Shukla at deep midwicket. Harshal Patel’s swings fetched him 10 runs in a 28 run partnership for the 8th wicket and Zaheer made 11 in the 9th wicket partnership of 17. Vinay’s strikes to the deep and frenzied running in the two stands saw RCB cross 100 and close the gap. He was out off the last ball of the innings, trying to clear long on off Shakib Al Hasan (2/21) where Shukla took another catch.
Bangalore’s innings ended on 123/9 in 20 overs, handing Kolkata a 42 run win and Balaji the Man of the Match award.