A Skipper’s knock from Gautam Gambhir of 93 (from 51 balls) set up a huge win by 47 runs for hosts Kolkata Knight Riders over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens. Gambhir’s knock which contained 9 fours and 5 sixes carried KKR to an impressive total of 190 for 4 on a pitch that was responsive for the spinners.
Gambhir was well supported by fellow opener Brendon McCullum (43 from 37 balls with 8 fours) and Jacques Kallis (41 from 27 balls with a four and 3 sixes). KKR were given a rocking start with Gambhir and McCullum putting up 95 runs in 10.3 overs for the first wicket.
In the run chase, KKR got quick control of the match reducing RCB to 34 for 3 in 5.3 overs. Three top batsmen – Dilshan, Kohli and AB de Villiers got dismissed cheaply. That left Chris Gayle all alone to chase down the target and initially he struggled to keep up the momentum. When Gayle did open up his shoulders, it was just too late for RCB and his knock of 86 (from 58 balls with 7 fours and 6 sixes) was only good in cutting down the margin of defeat.
Yusuf Pathan with 4-0-19-1 and Sunil Narine with 4-0-11-1 completely sealed the run scoring of RCB. Jacques Kallis played his part taking the important wickets of Kohli and AB de Villiers with consecutive deliveries. Gautam Gambhir got the Man of the Match award for his brilliant knock.
Toss and Teams: On what is expected to be a turning pitch at the Eden Gardens, hosts Kolkata Knight Riders have won the toss and elected to bat first against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Skipper Daniel Vettori who could be very crucial with his left arm spin comes back into the RCB team after recovering from his injury. He replaces Andrew McDonald. For the KKR, left arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla replaces L Balaji.
Kolkata Knight Riders: BB McCullum (Wicket Keeper), G Gambhir (Captain), LR Shukla, JH Kallis, MK Tiwary, YK Pathan, R Bhatia, DB Das, SP Narine, B Lee, Iqbal Abdulla
Royal Challengers Bangalore: TM Dilshan, CH Gayle, MA Agarwal, V Kohli, AB de Villiers (Wicket Keeper), SS Tiwary, DL Vettori (Captain), R Vinay Kumar, Z Khan, HV Patel, KP Appanna