Kolkata, Apr 28: Captain Gautam Gambhir dazzled with the bat to lead Kolkata Knight Riders to a commanding 47-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Game 38 of IPL 5 at the Eden Gardens on Saturday night.
[Scorecard: Game 38: KKR Vs RCB]
IPL 5: Results, Points Table
Highlights of KKR Vs RCB
RCB were always behind the required run rate. Even Chris Gayle"s assault on Rajat Bhatia in the 19th over (23 runs) was never going to be enough. KKR were never in danger of losing the game even with Gayle"s presence in the middle. RCB were restricted to 143/6 in 20 overs, chasing 191.
In the final 18 balls, RCB needed 80 to win and that further became out of reach with 53 required off 6 balls. Gambhir won the Man-of-the-match award for his 51-ball 93.
Gayle needed 42 balls to reach his fifty. For the entire duration of his stay at the crease till he reached his half century, the tall Jamaican was subdued. The usual aggressive stroke-play was not on view. The pitch and the bowlers too did not allow him to play his natural game.
Gayle seemed to have been woken up by something, as towards the final overs, he smashed few sixes, but by then Kolkata had the match in their bag. He was 60 off 49 balls, but made up with three sixes and a four off Bhatia's 19th over. Gayle was dropped by Sunil Narine when on 12.
Gayle departed for 86 (58 balls, 7x4, 6x6) with one ball remaining for the close of the match. He took the Orange Cap, overtaking Ajinkya Rahane. Gayle now has 336 runs.
Earlier, RCB were jolted in the very first over. KKR opened the bowling with offspinner Yusuf Pathan and he dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan (1).
Jacques Kallis struck two in two balls in the sixth over to further dent RCB"s chase. Kallis got Virat Kohli (18) LBW and removed his compatriot AB de Villiers for a first-ball duck. The hat-trick ball was played out by Saurabh Tiwary.
Losing three wickets for just 34 runs in 5.3 overs slowed the run rate for RCB. They took 57 balls to reach fifty.
Barring Gayle, the rest of the batsmen failed to even touch a score of 20. After Gayle, the next best was 19, from Tiwary.
Kolkata Knight Riders Innings Report
Captain Gautam Gambhir"s fine 51-ball 93 powered Kolkata Knight Riders to 190/4 in 20 overs.
Gambhir"s half century, aided by quick 40s from Brendon McCullum and Jacques Kallis enthralled the home fans under lights.
The credit must go to KKR batsmen, considering it was a slow pitch and ball was not coming onto the bat easily.
It was Gambhir"s show all the way in Kolkata. With the rains staying away, it started raining sixes and fours at the Eden Gardens. Overall, the home team smashed nine sixes and 18 fours.
The left-hander was in great form right from the start, along with McCullum. The opening pair set the ball rolling, punishing the RCB bowlers.
Gambhir dominated the bowlers with aggressive batting. Most of his boundaries came through the onside, in the midwicket region. His innings was studded with five sixes and nine boundaries. However, he enjoyed three chances. All those three catches were tough. Harshal Patel, Chris Gayle and Vinay Kumar dropped those catches.
The India opener was all set to register a ton but holed out at long-off boundary attempting for another six.
RCB were made to work hard to take their first wicket. They could not make a breakthrough in the first 10 overs.
Captain Vettori struck finally in the 11th over by getting his compatriot McCullum bowled. McCullum made 43 off 37 balls with eight fours. The first wicket partnership produced 95 runs.
Kallis gave the finish touches to the innings with a 27-ball 41 with three sixes and one four. Yusuf Pathan hit one six before he got out on the last ball of the innings for seven.
Zaheer Khan suffered the most on the night, conceding 48 runs in four overs for one scalp. Vinay had two wickets for 31 in four overs. Harshal was hit for 35 off three overs.
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to bat first against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
For RCB, their captain Daniel Vettori returned after missing out the previous game due to an injury. Vettori replaced Andrew McDonald. KKR made two changes, bringing left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla in place of the injured Lakshmipathy Balaji while Laxmi Ratan Shukla is in the team in place of Debabrata Das.
This is the return-leg match. In Bangalore, KKR had defeated RCB when Lakshmipathy Balaji shone with the ball. On that day, April 10, KKR won by 42 runs at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Both RCB and KKR are with nine points from eight matches each.
In his last outing at the Eden Gardens in 2011, Chris Gayle, a former KKR player, had smashed a 55-ball 102 not out with seven sixes. KKR will remember that.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Brendon McCullum (wicketkeeper), Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Jacques Kallis, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Debabrata Das, Rajat Bhatia, Sunil Narine, Brett Lee, Iqbal Abdulla.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Saurabh Tiwary, R Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Harshal Patel, K P Appanna.
Umpires: Billy Doctrove (West Indies) and Asad Rauf (Pakistan)
Third Umpire: Sudhir Asnani (India)
Match Referee: Rajendra Jadeja (India)