Balaji bowls Knight Riders to victory
BANGALORE, India – Seam bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji produced a superb spell of 4-18 as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Bangalore Royal Challengers by 42 runs in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.
Balaji bowled an immaculate line to claim the important wickets of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to help restrict Bangalore to 123-9 after Kolkata had scored 165-8 in 20 overs.
South Africa allrounder Jacques Kallis had earlier removed big-hitting opener Chris Gayle and Cheteshwar Pujara to complete an allround performance of 22 and 2-7.
Captain Gautam Gambhir (64) and Manvinder Bisla (46) were the other performers for Kolkata, which won its first game after two losses. Bangalore has one win and one loss.
Kolkata made a superb start after being put in to bat, but faltered in the latter half of its innings when a total of close to 200 looked likely.
After Kallis's steady innings was brought to an end by Bangalore captain Daniel Vettori, Gautam Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla added 64 in less than eight overs.
Gambhir struck nine fours in 39 balls, the captain hitting pace bowler Harshal Patel for 15 in an over, including the lone six of his innings.
Bisla struck three sixes and two fours, the wicketkeeper-batsman using his feet well during his 29-ball innings. He was fooled by a ball that left him from Sri Lankan offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan to be stumped as he jumped out of his crease.
Muralitharan, Zaheer Khan and Vinay Kumar took two wickets each as Kolkata slipped from 125-1 in the 14th over. Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate and Shakib al-Hassan all failing to get into double-figures.
In reply, Bangalore failed to recover from the early wickets by Kallis and Balaji was later well supported by allrounder Rajat Bhatia in the middle of the innings to mount pressure on the batsmen.
Bangalore was 33-5 in the 10th over. A brief resistence by Vettori (20) was brought to an end by Balaji in his final over. Vinay Kumar threw his bat around for 25 off 26 balls but the contribution was too little too late.
Kolkata Knight Riders 165-8 (Gautam Gambhir 64, Manvinder Bisla 46; Vinay Kumar 2-18, Zaheer Khan 2-31, Muttiah Muralitharan 2-31) def. Royal Challengers Bangalore 123-9 (Vinay Kumar 25, Lakshmipathy Balaji 4-18, Jacques Kallis 2-7, Shakib Al Hassan 2-21). – Sapa-AP