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Thursday, Jun 27th

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The Rajasthan Royals have reclaimed top spot in the Indian Premier League standings for a few days at the very least as they went ahead of the Chennai Super Kings thanks to a point they have gained following a wash-out in Kolkata against the Knight Riders.

With the ground staff putting in an excellent shift at the Eden Gardens, it looked for a long while that a 5-over a side game might be squeezed out between the reigning Champions the Kolkata Knight Riders and the inaugural winners of the IPL, the Rajasthan Royals, but it was not to be as damp areas around the ground made conditions unsafe for play.

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The Sunrisers Hyderabad returned to winning ways in Visakhapatnam, stunning the reigning champions Kolkata Knight Riders by 16 runs in a rain-reduced contest.

With a bit of rain in the air, the Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and unsurprisingly opted to chase. The Sunrisers Hyderabad got off to an excellent start with David Warner smashing an incredible 91 runs from just 55 balls, and sharing an opening stand worth 130 with Shikhar Dhawan, who chipped in with a steadier 54.

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Being on the path of victory doesn't appear to have been destined for the Delhi Daredevils for too long as the reigning IPL champions the Kolkata Knight Riders handed the Daredevils a heavy 6 wicket defeat at the Feroz Shah Kotla, with the Delhi franchise now losing 9 matches in a row on home turf.

The Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and decided to invite Delhi to make first use of a pitch that skipper Gautam Gambhir knows better than the back of his hand. Another Delhi boy in Kolkata clothing, Umesh Yadav excelled with the ball, taking 2-18 in his 4 overs, and was helped by an ex-Daredevil in Morne Morkel, who also chipped in with two wickets. Piyush Chawla meanwhile also picked up a couple of wickets, and in doing so joined the growing 100 wicket club in the IPL.

Manoj Tiwary top scored for the Daredevils, making 32, while Indian youth prospect Shreyas Iyer made 31. Many of the other Delhi batsmen too got starts, but no one went on to make a big score. Delhi were ultimately restricted to 146-8, a mediocre score by any standards.

Gautam Gambhir then took on the mantle of chasing down the runs himself, top scoring with 60 and fell in the penultimate over of the game with Kolkata just 3 runs shy of victory. Yusuf Pathan made another excellent contribution, remaining unbeaten on 40, while Surya Kumar Yadav once again provided some fireworks, chipping in with 24 from 16 balls.

The win takes Kolkata Knight Riders to 6 points, level with the Chennai Super Kings, who have also won 3 games so far this season, and are sitting in 2nd place in the standings.

Mini Scorecard:

Delhi Daredevils 146/8 (20 overs, 7.30rpo)

M Tiwary 32 (28) U Yadav 2-18 (4)

S Iyer 31 (24) P Chawla 2-27 (4)

Kolkata Knight Riders 147/4 (18.1 overs, 8.09rpo)

G Gambhir 60 (48) D Muthuswami 2-18 (3)

Y Pathan 40 (26) N Coulter-Nile 1-30 (4)

Kolkata Knight Riders win by 6 wickets

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Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders bounced back from being 60-5 in their run chase to beat the Kings XI Punjab in Pune thanks to a blistering innings of 66 from just 36 balls by Andre Russell.

The Kings XI Punjab were sent in to bat on losing the toss and struggled to 155-9 in their 20 overs with skipper George Bailey top scoring for his side with a crucial 60 from 45 balls after his team had slid to 27-3.

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The one-man West Indian wrecking crew known as Chris Gayle hit the Eden Gardens with some incredible force today to help the Royal Challengers Bangalore stun the defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets in an entertaining contest.

Kolkata lost the toss and were put in to bat by RCB, but it didn't really seem to affect their strokeplay as Gautam Gambhir (58) and Robin Uthappa (35) added 81 runs for the opening wicket at better than 7 an over. Gambhir made his second half-century on the bounce, and Kolkata ended with a very competitive total of 177-6 from their 20 overs with Andre Russell providing a late flourish hammering 41 from just 17 balls after KKR had briefly lost their way in the middle of their innings.

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The Royal Challengers Bangalore finally have the chance to get their season going as they travel to Kolkata to take on the defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the late kick-off on Saturday.

The flip of the coin went the way of the visitors, who decided to back themselves in chasing down whatever total KKR post. The Knight Riders have made one change to the side that beat the Mumbai Indians in the season opener with 20 year old mystery spinner Konganda Charamanna Cariappa replacing fast bowler Umesh Yadav.

The Royal Challengers meanwhile pick a strong side, but are without the World Cup's Man of the Series Mitchell Starc with Kiwi pacer Adam Milne also missing out. That means an opportunity for Sean Abbott to showcase his skills and make an effort to keep himself in the side for future games.

Teams:

Kolkata Knight Riders: RV Uthappa (wk), G Gambhir (c), M Pandey, SA Yadav, Y Pathan, S Al Hasan, A Russell, P Chawla, S Narine, K Cariappa, M Morkel

Royal Challengers Bangalore: C Gayle, M Singh, V Kohli (c), D Karthik (wk), AB de Villiers, D Sammy, H Patel, Y Chahal, S Abbott, V Aaron, A Nechim

 

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the Pepsi IPL 2014 winners, will commence their defence of the title, on home turf, on 8 April 2015. The opening encounter of the Pepsi IPL 2015 will see them play Mumbai Indians, winners of the 2013 season, at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on 8th April 2015.

A total of 60 matches (including the 4 playoffs) will be played over a period of 47 days, in the eighth season of the tournament that has captured the imagination of cricket-lovers across the world.

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