From the publishers of THE HINDU

VOL.32 :: NO.19 :: May. 09, 2009

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CRICKET / IPL: ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE V KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS

Bangalore wins, after a hiccup or two

Royal Challengers managed to post a victory, only its second in six matches, at the expense of Kolkata Knight Riders.

Bangalore Royal Challengers pulled off a rare five-wicket win at Kingsmead against Kolkata Knight Riders, but not before it had flirted with the possibility of a fifth defeat in six matches.

Mark Boucher composed a quick 25 (13 balls, 2x4, 1x6), including the 10 required off the last over, to take his team to its second win this season. Chasing 140, Royal Challengers began well, reaching 65 for no loss at the 10-over mark through Jacques Kallis (23, 25 balls, 2x4) and Srivats Goswami (43, 46 balls, 6x6). One would have assumed that another 75 runs off 10 overs with all wickets intact would be a straightforward task. But Bangalore chose to adhere to its deviant ways.

GOSWAMI WAS CAUGHT behind off Brad Hodge and Kallis departed in the next over, top-edging Ishant Sharma to wicket-keeper Morne van Wyk. Virat Kohli played a sweet shot off Hodge for six over long on before his cheeky dab off the next ball ended in the hands of the 'keeper. Hodge picked up his third wicket when Kevin Pietersen's awful attempt at clearing long on was taken by Wriddhiman Saha well inside the boundary.

BOUCHER STEADIED the ship somewhat, leaving Bangalore 10 to win off the last over. Chris Gayle kept it straight and full, but Boucher stole a four off the second ball (clipping it over midwicket), scampered a couple of couples off the next two, and then swatted a full toss down the leg side for another four to give Bangalore a much-needed win with a ball to spare.

Earlier, Kolkata was off to a horrid start after it elected to bat. Skipper Brendon McCullum was out first ball to counterpart Pietersen who tossed the ball up around off-stump only to have the New Zealander slash it straight to Kohli at point.

New man Hodge (17, 15 balls, 1x6, 2x4) took Pankaj Singh to the cleaners in the fourth over of the innings. The Aussie stepped out to the medium pacer for a six high over extra cover and then smashed two consecutive boundaries through cover to take 14 from the over.

HODGE WAS TRAPPED by an Anil Kumble slider; Sourav Ganguly scratched around for eight deliveries for a solitary run before he played a horrible shot to a Praveen Kumar bouncer. Trying to hook it over the legside field, Ganguly only provided catching practice to Kallis on the deep midwicket boundary. Kolkata was 61 for three after 10 overs.

Meanwhile, batting with a runner, Chris Gayle (40, 37 balls, 6x4) continued in an uncharacteristic style from the other end. He did away with the aerial route, concentrating instead on scoring runs safely.

Kolkata was held back by Bangalore when the former appeared set for the launch. Kumble claimed the dangerous Wriddhiman Saha (21, 14 balls, 1x6) and conceded just 16 off his four overs for two wickets. It was through van Wyk (43, 35 balls, 4x4) that Kolkata managed to reach a par score of 139.

THE SCORES

Kolkata Knight Riders 139 for six in 20 overs (C. Gayle 40, M. N. van Wyk 43 not out, W. Saha 21, A. Kumble two for 16) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 143 for five in 19.5 overs (J. Kallis 23, S. Goswami 43, M. Boucher 25, I. Sharma two for 15, B. Hodge three for 29).

Kunal Diwan



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