Gautam Gambhir scored a rollicking 93 off 51 balls while Jacques Kallis came up with an all-round show that helped Kolkata Knight Riders thump Royal Challengers Bangalore by 47 runs in the Indian Premier League match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Chris Gayle's knock of 86 from 58 balls went in vain for the RCB, as the visitors were restricted for 143 for 6.
Chasing a massive total of 191 runs to win, RCB got off to a worst possible start as offspinner Yusuf Pathan gave Kolkata an early breakthrough when he dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan (2) in the very first over to reduce Bangalore to 2 for 1. Virat Kohli then joined Gayle in the middle and Kohli was looking in a good touch as he smashed three boundaries before Kallis struck twice in consecutive deliveries to dismiss Virat Kohli (18) and in-form AB de Villiers (0) in the sixth over to leave RCB struggling at 34 for 3.
Gayle and Saurabh Tiwary put on 43 for the fourth wicket as they got down to building a partnership but KKR bowlers kept a tight leash as they made the RCB batsmen struggle for runs. Finally, Rajat Bhatia struck in the 13th over to reduce Bangalore to 77 for 4. Gayle was top scorer for Bangalore with his 86 off 58 balls but his fiery knock came too late. His knock was adorned with six sixes and seven fours. Had fellow West Indian Sunil Narine not dropped Gayle in the third over, the visitors
could have suffered worse defeat. With this win Kolkata stay on second Position in the points table behind Delhi Daredevils but now have 11 points, two better than Chennai Super Kings and RCB.
Earlier Kolkata skipper Gambhir led from front with a rollicking 93 as Kolkata Knight Riders posted a formidable total of 190 for 4 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Gambhir hit five huge sixes and nine boundaries in his knock to lead the hosts from the front. Gambhir brought up his 13th IPL fifty in just 28 balls.
Opting to bat first, Gambhir and Brendon McCullum put on 95 runs for the opening wicket - their highest opening stand for the season, to lay foundation for a massive score. McCullum supported Gambhir well with his 37-ball 43, which included eight fours. Daniel Vettori clean bowled compatriot McCullum in the 11th over to provide his team a crucial breakthrough. McCullum hit two consecutive fours off Vettori before the latter got better of him.
And after the fall of the New Zealander, Jacques Kallis (41 off 27 balls) added 80-run for the second wicket with his skipper. Kallis smacked three massive sixes and a four in his cameo. While the RCB bowlers struggled against the KKR onslaught, their fielders wilted under pressure and dropped catches, missed run out chances and gave away easy runs to the opposition. Gambhir survived twice in a Zaheer Khan over but never looked after that and made most of the chances given to him.
Vettori kept on rotating his bowlers in search of the wickets but Gambhir and co. kept on hitting them for runs at a fantastic pace. However, Gambhir was not lucky enough to complete his first IPL century as he fell short by seven runs when he was dismissed by Zaheer, caught by K P Apanna at the long-off boundary while going for the maximum.
Almost immediately Kallis fell to Vinay Kumar attempting a cheeky paddle sweep. After his fall Yusuf Pathan came in the middle and he started in fine fashion as he smashed six before he was out off the last ball of the innings. For Bangalore, Vinay Kumar took two wickets whereas skipper Vettori and Zaheer Khan claim a wicket each.