Knight Riders escape to victory
Kolkata Knight Riders beat Deccan Chargers by 5 wickets in a rain-affected game. Deccan are yet to win a game in IPL V.
Kolkata Knight Riders jumped to third place in the points table after recording a five-wicket win over Deccan Chargers in a rain-affected low-scoring Indian Premier League match, here today.
Kolkata bowlers did a splendid job in helpful conditions as they restricted Deccan to a modest 126 for seven after winning the toss with L Balaji (2/22) and Sunil Narine (2/26) scalping two wickets each.
Paceman Brett Lee, though, was the most impressive Kolkata bowler as he conceded just 15 runs in his four overs. He bowled 15 dot balls and also effected one dismissal.
Shikhar Dhawan (50) was top scorer for Deccan as he scored a run-a-ball knock while the other batsmen were guilty of playing reckless shots.
Kolkata overhauled the target with six balls to spare and had to work hard for runs as Deccan put up a good resistance.
It was Deccan's fifth defeat in a row and they are yet to win a contest in this edition of the league.
Batsmen needed to apply themselves to get runs on the Barabati track, where the ball was not coming on to the bat. The match had started late by an hour due to rain.
Kolkata (+0.432) now have eight points, same as of Pune Warriors (+0.290) and Chennai Super Kings (+0.033), but are positioned ahead of them due to better Net Run Rate.
In all, five teams have eight points, with Rajasthan Royals (+0.547) standing at the second place behind Delhi Daredevils. Delhi (+0.681) have played six matches to seven of all other teams, who have eight points.
South African all-rounder Jaques Kallis (23) and Manoj Tiwary (30 not out) shared an important 33-run stand for the fifth wicket as they had joined hands when Kolkata were 72 for four in 11th over and Deccan had started building pressure.
Kallis' knock came off 24 balls while Tiwary faced 28 balls for his innings, containing jusy two boundaries.
Steyn raised his side's hopes by having Kallis caught behind in the 17th over. The equation at that time Kolkata needing 22 off 22 balls. Tiwary though held his nerves and saw his side home in company of Debabrata Das (9).
Dropping catches did not help the cause of Deccan as they even dropped Das's catch in the 17th over, which could make it a more tight contest.
Kolkata's chase was far from impressive as they too, like their rivals, kept losing wickets. First to go was Brendon McCullum (10) and then Manvinder Bisla (10).
Runs were hard to come by due to superb efforts by Styen and Amit Mishra. Steyn had trapped McCullum and Mishra cleaned up Bisla.
KKR Skipper Gautam Gambhir (30) made a good start but squandered it, making the job all the more difficult for his side. The modest looking target started appearing as a mountain to climb.
Earlier, Deccan had got a good start through Kumar Sangakkara and Dhawan but could not capitalise as they lost wickets regularly.
Sangakkara (12) and Dhawan took some time to settle but once they had a feel of pitch they played shots confidently.
Dhawan hit a huge six off Yusuf Pathan, a daring pull off fast and furiuos Lee and then a lofted cover drive off the same paceman to accelerate the scoring.
Sangakkara and Dhawan had put on 37 together when Balaji castled the Sri Lankan to break the partnership. It affected the scoring although Parthiv Patel did a good job at number three.
Patel contributed 23 off 19 balls but an attempt to steal a non-existent double resulted in the diminutive player's run out. Dhawan turned down the call but Patel could not make his ground in time and left in utter disgust.
There were many a overs that went without a boundary and dismissal of big hitting Cameron White (10) in the first ball of the 15th over ony added to the woes of the Hyderabadi side.
Dhawan, who was earlier scoring freely, did not hit a boundary between his 30 to 50 and holed out to Debabrata Das off Rajat Bhatia just after reaching his half-century.
Tight bowling by Lee, Balaji and Narine kept Deccan batsmen under pressure. All the responsibility to give some respectability to Deccan score was on J P Duminy but the South Afican could contribute 16 off 15 balls.