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IPL Match 42: Chawla, Pathan script another Kolkata win

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The Kolkata Knight Riders have moved a step closer to making the knock-out rounds of the Indian Premier League, and could quite possibly still even secure a top 2 finish after picking up a solid 13 run win against the Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens tonight.

A very stoic looking Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to bat first, believing that his four pronged spin attack would benefit from doing the business on a wearing pitch.

Though Gambhir himself was first man out for 12, the Kolkata Knight Riders posted a creditable total of 171-7 from their 20 overs. Robin Uthappa made 32 from 31 balls at the top of the order to anchor the innings, while Manish Pandey made 22 at no.3.

The surprising decision to send in Piyush Chawla at no.4, a left-hander against Delhi's two leg spinners didn't exactly work as planned as he also chipped in with exactly 22, even matching Pandey's strike rate.

The Knight Riders looked for large periods that they might have to settle for a score below 150, but they got a late push from Yusuf Pathan, who made 42 from 24 balls, and Johan Botha, who hit 4 boundaries en route to a 5-ball innings of 17 very late in the piece.

Kolkata would have been thrilled to have reached 171, and that late burst made all the difference as Delhi fell shy by only 13 runs.

Delhi's openers, Shreyas Iyer (40) and Manoj Tiwary (25), shared an opening partnership worth 63, but the runs came too slowly, at barely a run a ball. At the half-way stage, Delhi still needed in excess of a hundred runs to win, and while skipper JP Duminy made a 16-ball 25, he got little support from Kedhar Jadhav (10) or Yuvraj Singh (0). Four of the top five fell to Piyush Chawla, who returned with figures of 4-32 from his 4 overs.

Angelo Mathews (22 from 15 balls) and Saurabh Tiwary (24* from 15 balls) tried to make a late attempt to win the game, but Delhi really should have stepped on the accelerator sooner, and they were left to rue that decision, having run out of overs in the end.

The win takes Kolkata Knight Riders to third place, with 13 points from 11 games, and with a game in hand over the Rajasthan Royals, who lost earlier in the day, KKR could usurp the former champions from 2nd spot.

Delhi meanwhile are all but mathematically out of the running with only 8 points from 11 games, and with just 3 matches left for the Daredevils, the best they can really hope for is to play spoiler in the rest of the competition.

Mini Scorecard:

Kolkata Knight Riders 171/7 (20 overs, 8.55rpo)

Y Pathan 42 (24) I Tahir 2-46 (4)

R Uthappa 32 (31) Y Singh 1-14 (2)

Delhi Daredevils 158/6 (20 overs, 7.90rpo)

S Iyer 40 (35) P Chawla 4-32 (4)

JP Duminy 25 (16) A Russell 1-24 (4)

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 13 runs