IPL 9: KKR spinners reduce Pune to 103/6 before rain plays spoilsport
Kolkata Knight Riders jumped to second spot in the team standings after Yusuf Pathan powered them to an eight wicket win over Rising Pune Supergiants in a rain-affected tie of the Indian Premier League here today.
Rising Pune Supergiants captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni reacts as his teammate Irfan Pathan is run out during the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rising Pune Supergiants at the Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium in Kolkata. Pic/AFP
With the win KKR go second on the points table with 7 wins from 10 games, while Pune stay at the bottom.
For the Knights Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey remained unbeaten on 37 and 15 runs respectively.
The hosts had a disastrous start to their run-hunt with Gautam Gambhir (0) and Robin Uthappa(4) both falling prey to Ravichandran Ashwin in the first over with the score reading 8-2.
However, Pandey and Pathan were unfazed by the situation and started off on the highest gear. Pandey first plundered 13 runs of the second over and then Pathan followed it up with a massive 22-run over against Ravichandran.
Murugan Ashwin too faced the wrath of Pathan as he belted him for a boundary and then a huge six down the ground in the 4th over.
Pune had earlier struggled to 103 for six when rain stopped play for a little more than two hours.
The win pushed KKR to second spot in the standings with 14 points from 11 games. Pune, who are out of the competition, remained at the bottom of the table.
The start to the short chase was exciting with Pune's premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin dismissing openers Robin Uthappa and opposition captain Gautam Gambhir in the very first over of the innings.
Uthappa was stumped on a viciously turning ball that ended up being a wide on the leg side while Gambhir was foxed by a straighter one off Ashwin.
In walked Pathan and tilted the game in his team's over by hammering Ashwin for two sixes and as many fours in his second over, also settling the nerves in the KKR dug out.
Eventually, he got the team home comfortably in the company of Manish Pandey (15 off 10).
Earlier, KKR had Pune in a real spot of bother with the visitors struggling to 103/6 in 17.4 overs when rain interrupted play at the Eden Gardens.
Legspinner Piyush Chawla claimed 2/21 with 13 dot balls while offie Sunil Narine, returning after two matches, gave away a miserly 10 runs from 3.4 overs bowling 14 dot balls to win the spin battle against MS Dhoni and Co.
With KKR spinners making full use of the conditions, the otherwise devastating Dhoni crawled to eight runs from 22 balls, as his counterpart Gautam Gambhir relished the challenge, deploying four fielders around the Indian skipper.
Pune at one stage were at 70/3 and when Dhoni walked in they were 74/4 in 10.3 overs but by the time the rain interrupted the proceedings their run-rate had slipped to less than six.
Opting to bat on a turning surface, Pune failed to get going at the top with Russell giving the first breakthrough in the third over.
Trying to hit across the line, Rahane (two) played on a wide delivery as Russell gave KKR a perfect start bowling in tandem with More Morkel for four overs.