Knight Riders Bangalored again

Knight Riders Bangalored again

By virtue of their four-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders on the Duckworth-Lewis method on Saturday night, the Challengers emphatically sealed their place in the play-offs in Mumbai, temporarily hitting the top of the table with 17 points from 12 matches.

It was another convincing all-round performance from the Challengers with, unsurprisingly, Chris Gayle (38, 12b, 6x4, 2x6) again in the forefront on a stop-start day at the Chinnaswamy stadium, which was packed to the rafters by the time AB de Villiers creamed Lakshmipathi Balaji through mid-off for the winning boundary.

The Knight Riders’ innings never assumed any momentum after they were stuck in by Virat Kohli, the Challengers’ pace attack on top of its game with Charl Langeveldt positively outstanding. At the time of the evening’s only interruption, the Knights had limped to 69 for three from 11 overs, and when play resumed after a 128-minute stoppage with the game reduced to 13 overs a side, they added a further 20 to finish at 89 for four.

The Challengers were set a revised target of 102, but no one appeared to have told Gayle that. He started off seemingly in the belief that the required rate was thrice as many, hammering Brett Lee for four fours in the first over of the chase and then turning his attention on the hapless Jaydev Unadkat, smashed for 23.

His dismissal returned sanity to the proceedings but the mayhem he had unleashed was simply too much for the Knights to recover from. The Challengers suffered some late hiccups but eventually burst past the line with three deliveries to spare, reaching 105 for six with fairly plenty in the tank.

Gayle has been mocking the law of averages all through this season, and in just his seventh match, he snatched the Orange Cap from Virender Sehwag. His tally for IPL IV stands at a whopping 436, and his 32 sixes are the most in a single edition of this competition. With new opening partner Luke Pomersbach a mute spectator, Gayle smashed the Knights to smithereens as the first-wicket pair realised 44 in just 16 deliveries.

Despite the Knights striking at regular intervals, the Challengers were in no serious danger. Kohli, Mohammad Kaif and de Villiers all chipped in, the only sour and sore note being when Saurabh Tiwary, nursing a side strain, was denied a runner.

The Knights had struggled to do the running in the evening, pegged back by Zaheer Khan and Langeveldt first up. Jacques Kallis began promisingly with two fours in the first over, but Zaheer quickly found his range and Langeveldt was outstanding as the runs dried up alarmingly.

Former Challengers Eoin Morgan and Kallis fell inside the first four overs, and when S Arvind continued his merry wicket-taking ways to account for Gautam Gambhir, the Knights had slipped to 30 for three. It could have been 41 for four had Arvind not dropped a sharp return chance on his followthrough, a let off that Yusuf Pathan, then on seven, capitalised on with telling effect.

Completely dominating a 53-run (41b) fourth-wicket association with Manoj Tiwary, Pathan mocked the length of the boundary ropes with trademark bunts down the ground, his clean hitting scattering the fans and eliciting sporting applause from a gathering clearly biding its time for Gayle to come out and do his stuff.
The big Jamaican didn’t disappoint, completely overshadowing Pathan as he raced to his fourth man of the match award. Honorary Bangalorean, did someone say?!

SCORE BOARD
Kolkata Knight Riders innings (13 overs maximum):

Jacques Kallis c Arun Karthik b Langeveldt 17
Eoin Morgan c Pomersbach b Zaheer Khan 2
Gautam Gambhir c de Villiers b Aravind 7
Manoj Tiwary not out 19
Yusuf Pathan c Mithun b Langeveldt 36
Mark Boucher not out 1

Extras: (b-4, LB-1, W-2) 7

Total: (For four wickets in 13 overs) 89

Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-21, 3-30, 4-83.

Bowling: Zaheer Khan 3-0-17-1, Charl Langeveldt 3-0-10-2, Sreenath Aravind 3-0-18-1, Abhimanyu Mithun 2-0-14-0, Chris Gayle 1-0-11-0, Virat Kohli 1-0-14-0.

Royal Challengers Bangalore innings :

CH Gayle             c Kallis  b Lee      38
LA Pomersbach     c Unadkat b Kallis      16
V Kohli*             c †Boucher b Kallis      15
AB de Villiers             not out      13
M Kaif            c Bhatia b Unadkat      15
KB Arun Karthik†  c Unadkat b Iqbal Abdulla  1
SS Tiwary                run out (Gambhir)       1
A Mithun                not out               0

Extras     (W-6)                               6

Total  (For six wickets in 12.3 overs)     105

Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-65, 3-72, 4-95, 5-96, 6-101

Bowling: B Lee 3-0-31-1, JD Unadkat 2-0-30-1, JH Kallis 3-0-16-2, Iqbal Abdulla 3-0-18-1, L Balaji 1.3-0-10-0.

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