Kolkata clip Bangalore’s wings to win by 5 wickets


Bangalore—A devastating fifth wicket partnership of 96 off 44 balls between Yusuf Pathan (60 off 29 balls)and Andre Russell (39 off 24 balls) allowed Kolkata Knight Riders to claw out of a precarious situation to pull out a sensational five-wicket win against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday.
Chasing a mammoth 186 to win, KKR started the run chase on a disastrous note losing opener Robin Uthappa cheaply for one. They were reduced to 34 for 2 with Yuzvendra Chahal extracting enough turn to get Chris Lynn bowled for (15).
Trouble mounted for KKR as soon as a well-set Gautam Gambhir (37 off 29) was given out to a contentious leg before decision off left arm pacer Sreenath Aravind. And then with Manish Pandey’s 12-ball struggle for eight ended by Shane Watson, the visitors looked all at sea as they were reduced to 69 for 4 in 10.1 overs.
Needing 12 an over, Pathan and Russell were clearly struggling against the spinners initially, especially Chahal. However, an 18 run over off Chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi, which saw him being hammered to all part of the park by Russell gave KKR in the missing spark. Then Pathan got into the action smashing 24-runs in the 17th over off Watson and KKR brought down the required rate to under eight an over. In six overs the duo smashed 90 runs to turn the table on RCB. Pathan, then, showed his brute force to get KKR across the line with five balls to spare.
Earlier, RCB’s Chris Gayle, coming back into the side, couldn’t work his magic with the bat. He hammered Morne Morkel for a six but latter took the revenge immediately by forcing the West Indian to miscue a pull and it was easy work for stumper Uthappa.
KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli then cautiously knit a partnership latching on to anything loose and RCB was in line for a competitive total. Off spinner Sunil Narine was on the receiving end as he was carted around the park. Rahul, especially, put a lot of pressure on the West Indian spinner.
It took leg spinner Piyush Chawla to break the threatening partnership – Rahul caught at deep covers by Pathan for an impressive 52 off 32 deliveries. RCB’s 100 was onboard in the 13 over but with Chawla getting the dangerous AB de Villiers trapped in front of the crease for four, their surge was stemmed.
The big shot eluded Kohli as well and on a slow track he scored his fourth 50 of this IPL from 42 deliveries. KKR skipper Gambhir dropped Kohli while on 52 but the former couldn’t capitalise and holed out to Andre Russell in the next delivery from Morkel, who was the pick of the bowlers for KKR with figures of 2 for 28.
Some brainless bowling by KKR’s Umesh Yadav, which included two back-to-back above waist height full tosses, RCB managed to get the much needed impetus towards the end. Twenty three came in the 18th over from Yadav as Shane Watson (34 off 21 balls) and Sachin Baby (16 off 8 balls) made merry. Yadav was again under the pump in the last over as Stuart Binny smashed 16 off four balls to see RCB to a challenging total of 185 for 7 in 20 overs.—Agencies

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