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Kolkata down Warriors by 22 runs as rain plays spoilsport

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The Kolkata Knight Riders kept their slender hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the Champions League alive with a 22-run victory over the Chevrolet Warriors in a rain interrupted Group B encounter at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. The Warriors, put in to bat, failed to make the most of an excellent start and wickets in hand as they stuttered to a par score of 155/4 in their 20 overs. Kolkata in response rocketed to 83/1 in 9 overs and were well on course to victory when rain prevented any further play from taking place. The Knight Riders were miles ahead of the D-L par score and picked up their second win of the Group Stages to go second in the table with 4 points.

Rain had washed out the first match of the day in Bangalore, and it came as no surprise that Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir opted to chase on winning the toss in event of the weather playing havoc with this game. The ground staff had done a remarkable job of getting the ground dry so that a match was possible, but a damp outfield meant that the ball was expected to come on to the bat quite easily and the spinners would have a rather tough time gripping it. There was a surprise in the Kolkata line-up with Brad Haddin missing from the team after having done so well in the last game, news from the dug out was that he had done in a hamstring.

The Warriors suffered an early set back when they lost Ashwell Prince in just the second over, Kallis disturbing his fellow South African's furniture. Jon-Jon Smuts and Colin Ingram resurrected the innings, adding 80 runs for the second wicket in 10 overs. Smuts fell to the guile of Laksmipathy Balaji for a slightly better than a run a ball 46. His innings was etched with 6 boundaries.

The Warriors innings should really have kicked on from there and gone on to make 170 odd, but some disciplined bowling and the inability of the middle order to put together some really big overs meant that the Warriors could manage only 155, a decent but very achievable score. Ingram fell in the 19th over for 61 from 47 balls while Mark Boucher was unbeaten on 38 from 27. Brett Lee was the pick of the KKR bowlers, ending with figures of 1-25, while Balaji was the highest wicket-taker having picked up 2 scalps, but for a slightly expensive 35 runs.

Kolkata's response was blistering as always with Manvinder Bisla racing to 19 from 12 balls before falling caught behind off Wayne Parnell in the 4th over. Kallis was joined by Gambhir, and the pair kept the run rate moving at a fair clip, consistently staying ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis par score. Both batsmen hit 3 boundaries and a six as Kolkata raced to 83/1 in 9 overs.

That's when the heavens opened once again and the rain showed no sign of relenting. After an hour long wait, the match was duly awarded to Kolkata, who were easily the better side on show today. The win propelled Kolkata to second place in the Group B points table, albeit having played at least 1 game more than the rest of the teams. The Warriors continued to hold top spot despite their defeat as they have a superior net run rate to Kolkata. The Knight Riders have completed their group stage fixtures and will now have to wait and watch to see how the rest of the group plays out. However, with 2 teams now on 3 points as a result of the earlier wash out between Somerset and South Australia, it would need a minor miracle for the Knight Riders to squeeze into the semis. The Warriors play the Somerset Sabres in their final encounter in the early start on Wednesday, 5th October. 


KKR: M Bisla, J Kallis, G Gambhir, M Tiwary, Y Pathan, S Al Hasan, R ten Doeschate, R Bhatia, B Lee, I Abdulla, L Balaji.

Warriors: J Smuts, A Prince, C Ingram, M Boucher, C Thyssen, K Smuts, J Botha, N Boje, W Parnell, R Theron, L Tsotsobe

Mini Scorecard:

Warriors 155/4 (20 overs, 7.75rpo)
C Ingram 61 (47) B Lee 1-25
J Smuts 46 (43) L Balaji 2-35

Kolkata Knight Riders 83/1 (9 overs, 9.22rpo)
G Gambhir 33 (23) W Parnell 1-24
J Kallis 31 (19)

Knight Riders win by Duckworth-Lewis Method