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IPL Season 9: Kolkata Knight Riders crush Rising Pune Supergiants to climb into 2nd place

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The Kolkata Knight Riders joined the leaderboard logjam at the helm of the Indian Premier League standings, picking up another couple of points to move to 14 points and with it second place, courtesy of a thumping 8 wicket win over the Rising Pune Supergiants, who have as a result been mathematically eliminated from the competition.

Pune were realistically already out of contention for a play-off berth even before the game began, but a poor display with the bat as they stuttered to 103-6 in 17.4 overs before a long rain delay meant that they were given just 66 runs to defend in 9 overs courtesy of Messrs. Duckworth & Lewis. The Kolkata Knight Riders needed just 5 overs to achieve the target with Yusuf Pathan pummeling his way to 37 off 18 balls to ensure an easy win for KKR at the Eden Gardens on Saturday night.

The flip of the coin went the way of the Rising Pune Supergiants, who slightly surprisingly opted to bat, despite weather conditions suggesting that there was a bit of rain in the air.

George Bailey's 33 off 27 balls and his fellow Aussie Usman Khawaja's 21 off 17 were the only two significant contributions with the bat from the Rising Pune Supergiants, for whom MS Dhoni made an uncharacteristic 8 off 22 balls before the weather intervened. Piyush Chawla was the pick of the bowlers for KKR on a pitch that was turning square, taking 2-21 from his 4 overs, while fellow spinner Sunil Narine conceded just 10 runs from 3.4 overs.

The Duckworth-Lewis target of 66 looked to be imposing when Ravichandran Ashwin struck twice in the first over of the KKR innings, removing both Robin Uthappa (4) and Gautam Gambhir (0), however, Pathan came out at no.4 and smashed the bowling to all corners to help KKR record an easy win, with Manish Pandey making a useful 15 off 10 balls to provide the necessary support at the other end.

The win takes Kolkata ahead of the Gujarat Lions on net run rate into second place, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad remain top. Both KKR and the Sunrisers have played 11 games so far to Gujarat's 12.

Mini Scorecard:

Rising Pune Supergiants 103-6 (17.4 overs, 5.83rpo)

G Bailey 33 (27) P Chawla 2-21 (4)

U Khawaja 21 (17) A Russell 1-11 (2)

Kolkata Knight Riders 66-2 (5 overs, 13.20rpo)

Y Pathan 37* (18) R Ashwin 2-30 (2)

M Pandey 15* (10)

Kolkata Knight Riders win by 8 wickets