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You are here: Cricket CLT20 KKR rout RCB by 9 wickets to get their CLT20 campaign up and running

KKR rout RCB by 9 wickets to get their CLT20 campaign up and running

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A clinical batting display by the Kolkata Knight Riders not only helped them thrash RCB by 9 wickets but also enabled them to remain in contention in the race for a semi-final berth in the Champions League. After dawdling through the initial and middle overs, Danny Vettori and the lower order counter-attacked to post an impressive total of 169 on the board. An excellent partnership between the Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir after Brad Haddin's early onslaught powered Kolkata to an easy win with nearly 2 and a half overs to spare.

The under-performing Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who lost their initial fixture to the Warriors, geared up for a do or die battle on a slow,turning pitch at the Chinnaswamy stadium in an all IPL Group-B clash. Bangalore, who were rattled by AB de Villiers' injury picked Sri Lankan skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan to perform the wicket keeping duties while all-rounder Raju Bhatkal came in for Mithun. Meanwhile the distorted KKR also made a couple of changes with Brad Haddin replacing Manvinder Bisla and Shami Ahmed and Jaidev Unadkat making the cut ahead of Lakshmipathy Balaji and Shakib Al Hasan. Gautam Gambhir won the toss elected to bowl first without any hesitation on a pitch where previous outcomes favoured the chasing team.

Brett Lee worked up some good pace and started proceedings in typical fiery fashion as he bowled a maiden first over to Chris Gayle. In the 3rd over Brett Lee faced the wrath of the southpaw as he freed his arms to clobber the bowler for 2 consecutive maximums. Kallis, at the other end after being muscled by Gayle for a six over the covers shattered the stumps to weather out the Gayle storm. Lee,who was provided an extended spell, rewarded Gambhir's faith in him by dismissing Kohli for nought. The first powerplay was dominated by the KKR bowlers despite a rapid-fire 25 off 16 from Gayle. Bangalore were 41-2 when the curtains came down on the powerplay.

Sourabh Tiwary and Tillakaratne Dilshan, unruffled by the loss of early wickets continued playing with agression. The pair milked 10 runs off Shami Ahmed's first over. The bowlers initially failed to apply the brakes on the Bangalore batting as a brisk scoring rate was maintained. Yusuf Pathan, who quietly performs the job for Kolkata with the ball ended the threatening partnership by taking out the talented Tiwary for 19. The following over, KKR's most effective bowler in the league, Bhatia deceived Dilshan as Brad Haddin dislodged the bails in a jiffy to leave RCB groaning at 74-4 In 11.

The collapse carried on as Mayank Aggarwal, after tonking a couple of half-dozens was undone by Abdulla for 13. The mantle of anchoring the innings fell on Skipper Vettori after Mohammed Kaif's early departure. Kolkata tightened their grip on the game as poor shot selection restrained Bangalore to102-6 in 15 overs.

Vettori then combined with Karnataka all-rounder Raju Bhatkal to enhance the tempo and the 16th over saw them score 13 runs. Vettori successfully initiated a flurry of biggies as his strike rate zoomed past 190. Soon afterwards, Bhatkal also joined the party by lofting Bhatia for a huge 6 in the 18th over as the partnership blossomed to 50. Brett Lee returned to end a useful cameo of 25 from Bhatkal amidst lop-sided fielding from the visitors. Syed Mohammad after manufacturing a couple of boundaries was eliminated by Unadkat as Vettori's positive batting carried the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a challenging total of 169-9 in 20.

Chasing a daunting total of 170, KKR made the power play count by posting 56 for the loss of no wickets. Brad Haddin, who recently retired from T20 International cricket treated Aravind with disdain to notch up consecutive fours. Kallis then showed his class by launching left arm tweaker Mohammad for a beautiful six up and over long on in the 3rd over as dew came into play. Aggressive batting from the experienced duo ensured that the scoring rate never dipped. The addition of Haddin into the team indeed worked wonders for the Knight Riders as he tore the bowling to shreds.

Daniel Vettori concluded Haddin's enterprising knock of 42, courtesy a fine, tossed up delivery which seduced the drive. Gambhir came in at no.3 and seemed to be in fine nick, testament to which was his delicious six off Bhatkal. Kallis,who pierced the gaps with no trouble kept the momentum going whilst Gambhir attacked the spinners. Dilshan experienced a torrid time behind the stumps, missing a stumping as Bangalore were made to regret their brave selection. KKR strode ahead with remarkable poise to make 131-1 in 15.

Gambhir and Kallis cruised along as even the mean and miserly Vettori was not spared. Gambhir, who mowed a full Vettori delivery over cow corner for a six, was nothing short of sensational. Jacques Kallis brought up his fifty in the 17th over thanks to a bottom edge which raced to the boundary. Another remarkable knock from a remarkable player!  Gambhir too raced to a stroke-filled half century off just 30 balls with another attractive six as Nannes' 3rd over yielded 24 runs. Kolkata finished off the game in style to put an end to their losing streak in the CLT20 2011. Korbo lorbo jeetbo!

The Knight Riders showed a great deal of character to bounce back into the tournament with an emphatic win in a heavy-weight clash. KKR rise up to 3rd place in the Group B points table to keep themselves in the hunt for the semis. Meanwhile RCB who have sunk to consecutive failures will have to bring their A-Game to the table and win all their remaining games to keep their qualification hopes alive. Bangalore's next mission will be to topple the Somerset Sabres on Monday, October 3rd. As far as Kolkata are concerned, they will have to maintain their romance with momentum when they go head to head against the table toppers - The Warriors - this Saturday at the same venue.


Royal Challengers Bangalore: C.Gayle, M.Agarwal, V.Kohli, T.Dilshan(keeper), S.Tiwary, M.Kaif, D.Vettori(captain), S.Mohammad, S.Aravind, D.Nannes, Raju Bhatkal.

Kolkata Knight Riders: G.Gambhir(captain), J.Kallis, R.ten Doeschate, B.Haddin(keeper), M.Tiwary,Y.Pathan, I.Abdullah, R.Bhatia, B.Lee, Shami Ahmed, Jaidev Unadkat.

Mini Scorecard:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 169-9(20 overs, 8.45 rpo)
D. Vettori 44(23) I. Abdulla 2-20
C. Gayle 25(16) B. Lee  2-34

Kolkata Knight Riders: 171-1 (17.3 overs, 9.77 rpo)
J. Kallis 64*(47) Vettori 1-27
G. Gambhir 55*(31)

KKR win by 9 wickets.