Gautam Gambhir hit a strokeful half century while Lakshamipathy Balaji returned with a four-wicket haul as Kolkata Knight Riders brought their campaign back on track with a 42-run victory over Bangalore Royals Challengers in an IPL match here today.
Sent into bat,the Knight riders posted a challenging 165 for eight in their stipulated 20 overs,thanks to some brilliant batting by skipper Gautam Gambhir,who struck a
strokeful 64 in just 39 balls.
Balaji then scalped four wickets giving away just 18 runs and Jacques Kallis accounted for two more as the visitors returned to restrict the Challengers to 123 for nine at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
With this victory,Kolkata snapped their two-match losing streak in the fifth IPL,where they had lost to Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals in their last two encounters respectively.
The Royals Challengers had a disastrous start to their runchase,losing four of their top batsman for just 25 runs with pacers Kallis and Balaji claiming two wickets each.
Kallis started the proceeding in the second over,sending back opener Cheteshwar Pujara (6) who was caught at slip while tring to steer the ball towards third man.
The South African allrounder then scalped the prized wicket of Chris Gayle (2) in his next over. Trying to pull a short delivery from Kallis over midwicket,Gayle ended up top-edging the ball to Laxmi Shukla at mid-on.
Balaji then got ino the act and dismissed Virat Kohli (6) in the sixth over to leave the hosts tottering at 20 for three. Kohli miscued a short and ended up giving a catch to
Manoj Tiwari at point.
The team came in the tournament without too many big players to boast off but Hogg said not having too many big stars in the squad has helped the team.
“It is a great thing to have youngsters in your squad. It has provided players to show their worth in front of Indian selectors as well as overseas players proving a point to their own cricket boards as well,” he said.
“I think it is a positive sign to not have big names in your squad because basically they want an opportunity at the big stage and they will give you their 100 per cent. They will do everything to make us win. I think we are fortunate not to have too many big names,” the 41-year old,who has taken 156 wickets in 123 ODIs and 17 wickets in 7 tests,said.
On the lack of high scoring matches so far in the tournament,he said,”The wickets have been very slow or two-faced. We scored a high total in the first game and we should have scored a few more but still it was 160 plus.
“I think it comes to the nature of the wicket and it will be interesting to see what kind of wicket we get in Mumbai. At the end of the day we are going to make sure we play well.
“Hopefully there will be a bit of turn in the pitch because we have good slow bowlers and also our medium pacers would prefer a slower wicket than a quicker wicket.”
Rajsthan Royals will play Mumbai Indians tomorrow here.