Auckland Aces v KKR, Group A, CLT20, Cape Town October 15, 2012

All-round Mahmood pushes Kolkata to the brink


Auckland Aces 139 for 3 (Mahmood 51*) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 137 for 6 (McCullum 40, Mahmood 3-16) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A high impact all-round performance from Azhar Mahmood, his second of this Champions League Twenty20, gave qualifiers Auckland Aces their third comprehensive victory in South Africa, and severely damaged Kolkata Knight Riders' prospects of progress in the tournament. Mahmood's timely wickets and composed innings during the chase, which was supported by several top-order cameos, led Auckland to the target with 14 balls to spare, a considerable boost to their net run rate.

While this was Auckland's first match of the Champions League proper, it was Kolkata's second, and a second defeat left the IPL champions needing to win both their remaining games, while keeping an eye on run rate, in order to make the semi-finals from Group A.

After winning the toss on a cold and windy day in Cape Town, Kolkata looked like setting a formidable total on two occasions, and both times they were stymied by Mahmood. Gautam Gambhir had fallen early - caught by Martin Guptill diving low and to his left at point - but despite the new ball seaming and bouncing, Manvinder Bisla and Brendon McCullum had begun finding the boundary regularly. They got to 72 for 1 in the ninth over when left-arm spinner Ronnie Hira made the breakthrough by having Bisla caught at long-off, and then it was over to Mahmood.

In his first over, Mahmood had Jacques Kallis caught at slip and Manoj Tiwary caught and bowled off successive deliveries, reducing Kolkata to 72 for 4. His two-over spell contained a maiden and returned figures of 2 for 7. The loss of those wickets forced McCullum and Shakib Al Hasan to consolidate and Auckland were able to drag the run rate from 8 down to just above six and a half per over.

McCullum was Auckland's major threat and he began to break free with a tremendous six against Andre Adams, charging the medium pacer and smashing him beyond the midwicket boundary. Gareth Hopkins brought Mahmood back for the next over - the 15th - and he had McCullum edging behind with the third ball.

Shakib didn't last much longer, toe ending a slash off Kyle Mills to deep cover to be dismissed for 15 off 22. He didn't come off with the bat and his selection ahead of Brett Lee on a pitch that had seam movement and bounce was questionable.

From 108 for 6 in the 17th over, Yusuf Pathan wasn't able to provide the kind of acceleration he's done on occasion during the IPL. He managed to pull twice in succession for fours, in the 18th over bowled by Michael Bates, but Kolkata found the boundary only once in the last two overs. Mahmood finished with 3 for 16 in his four overs, after he had taken a five-for to knock out Hampshire in the qualifying stage.

Chasing 138, Lou Vincent waylaid Kolkata. In the first over, bowled by L Balaji, Vincent smashed over mid-off and clipped over midwicket for fours, before hitting a towering six over long-on. He slog swept Shakib for another six to blast Auckland to 31 for 0 after two overs.

Realising Kolkata needed wickets and fast, Gambhir gave Narine the third over and the spinner had Vincent top edging to square leg the ball after conceding a boundary. Mahmood joined Guptill and the pair used the buffer provided by Vincent's aggression to accumulate steadily, while hitting the odd boundary. Auckland were 51 for 1 when the fielding restrictions were lifted.

Auckland seemed to want to target some bowlers more than others and Balaji was one of them. He returned to bowl the tenth and Mahmood immediately hoisted towards deep square leg, where Pradeep Sangwan took the catch but stepped on the boundary cushions. Guptill fell in that over, slogging to long-on, leaving Auckland 62 to get off 61. Anaru Kitchen then hit a four off his first ball and a six off his third, hacking at the equation, while Mahmood calmly stayed the course.

With three runs to get and plenty of deliveries remaining, Mahmood pulled to the square-leg boundary, the winning shot bringing up a successive half-century in the Champions League.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on October 18, 2012, 22:17 GMT

    @ExtremeSpeed: I don't think too many Ind fans dislike Shakib or do not think he is a nice player. I think the reason you find some comments against Shakib is cos nearly in every BD match or every IPL match involving KKR most of the BD fans are obsessed with Shakib playing or not playing and seem to blame any KKR losses to the absence of Shakib.I too have noticed this fixation. Most of us know Shakib brings a lot to the table but several BD fans refuse to see the various combinations possible for KKR team as per the team requirements or the 4 foreign player rule etc. It is then that you will find some ppl saying mockingly that had Shakib been there then KKR would have won by 120 runs in 12 overs flat. And the BD fans have no idea how much pressure they put Shakib in when he goes in. As it is international cricket is a tough game and then he gets this added pressure. Why do you want to ruin a top class player of your team. He can take B very high but only if left alone to grow.

  • Harmon on October 18, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    @Miah Mohammad Rabiul Hasan: Ah shifting the goalpost now? First you talked about IPL teams and when you were rebutted there you now want to talk about Indian players in the IPL teams. FYI, it was an Indian player Suresh Raina who scored a fab 94 in the SF to help CSK reach the finals. It was another Indian player Virat Kohli who had scores of 49 and 47 and those might have been the best of the tournament such was the quality. RD scored 70 too, Ashwin was MoS. Now now, I hope you don't mean that EVERY Indian player has to do well before you utter a single word of praise, do you? And Mr Smart Alec, I referred to India's 2007 title cos it was relevant here. Anyone can see that. And you mention test results here? What was England's result in UAE? 0-3. What did Eng score vs India in SL WT20? 80 ao. What did Eng do in Aus? 1-6. What did Aus do in Eng? 0-4. What is Aus score in tests in India? 0-2 and 0-2. When did Eng last won a series in India? 1984 !!. Happy with this rebuttal?

  • Sami on October 18, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    @Harmony111 - I have no issues with Indian Cricket mate and I know they have special Cricketers themselves like Kohli, Sachin even Unmukht Chand whose coming up. The only problem I have with India are 'some' of its fans who unfairly criticize our players if you can see where I'm coming from. As long as facts are used and reasonable logic is given than its fine by me. Just imagine you heard some fan saying i.e. Virat Kohli is not talented or something must be out of your mind so that's why I'm not happy how some fans is treating Shakib. Had Shakib played for India, it would've been a total different story.

  • Sami on October 18, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    @Harmony111 - People can rightfully question Bangladesh Cricket team performances because its true they don't play to standard and are still minnows but there are good reasons why they're not as strong but yeah I agree they can do much better then they currently are now. But some of their players like Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan are no ordinary players otherwise Bangladesh would'e been in an even worse situation without their performances hope you understand.

  • Sami on October 18, 2012, 19:41 GMT

    @Harmony111 - People need to go to the ICC website and have a look how rankings work I mean the ICC are not silly. They base these ranking on the strength of opponents and players performances nothing else. The only all-rounders which can be considered better than Shakib are Jacques Kallis and Shane Watson because these 2 have performed consistently well over the past 2-3 years in all forms. Shakib is NOT a specialist batsman or bowler but a genuine good all-rounder who can perform with either bat or ball on a consistent bases.

  • Harmon on October 18, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    @ExtremeSpeed: Since you are at pains to explain that Shakib is a great/good test all rounder (and I don't contest it) and use Shakib's ICC rank as a yardstick then do you promise that the next time India become #1 in ODIs or Tests or T20s you will admit that India are deserving #1 holders? Are you sure you have not said anything against India's #1 rank or even WC 2011 win in the past?

  • Sami on October 18, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    @CricFan707 - "Ryan has more experience than Shakib" - Maybe I guess Ryan has played in 126 ODI matches all over the World like Shakib and 26 Test matches. Yes Ryan plays in County Cricket but so did Shakib for Worcestershire and believe Essex are trying to recruit him now for next season. "It's just that u can't compare him to the likes of RTD so early"? - Shakib has already done extraordinary things that Ryan hasn't Test 100s, 5 wickets hauls, IPL man of match awards, BPL man of tournament, Asia Cup man of tournament want more? I guess Ryan achieved those things as well then otherwise because you just contradicted yourself now mate :)

  • Sami on October 18, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    @Summer_Sport....Great analysis bro I didn't actually know that good trap. These fans of other teams know Shakib has great things to achieve but to nervous to admit it. Once Kallis who just turned 37 recently leaves the game then its most likely Shakib will dominate these all-rounder rankings for many years to come.

  • Sami on October 18, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    @CricFan707 - The fact is ICC rates Shakib as Number 1 all-rounder in Tests and ODIs so he does perform well with both bat and ball so what are you finding difficult mate? The last time Shakib has played a Test match he scored a Test 100 against Pakistan what you think ICC rating players are wrong? funny that last Test match of his against Pakistan he also picked up a 5 wicket haul so you can see why ICC rates him as Number 1 so other than Shakib, when was the last all-rounder that achieved a 100 and a 5 wicket haul in the same Test match? Exactly! :)

  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    all this sakib talk....woooooot narine \0/ bowled well every game..although he got no wickets in the last an econ of 4.50 was aite..but still narineee narinee narrineee..kill it with the sakib talk already..

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