Kolkata Knight Riders v Titans, CLT20, Cape Town October 21, 2012

Kolkata careen to only win, jeopardise Titans' chances


Kolkata Knight Riders 188 for 5 (Gambhir 44, Das 43*) beat Titans 89 (Balaji 4-19) by 99 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kolkata Knight Riders played every bit like the side they were, one with nothing to lose, and in careening to their first win of the tournament, they jeopardised the hitherto undefeated Titans' chances of making the semi-finals. However, once Kolkata tried to normalise after losing the second wicket at 95 in the ninth over, they began to flounder again. And once Debabrata Das embraced the devil-may-care attitude again, both hits and mis-hits began to clear the ropes, and the resultant total was 67 more than what was enough to produce a thriller on the same pitch hours ago.

Titans were always going to struggle chasing 189 on a slightly sticky pitch, and their prospects worsened when they lost their big-hitting opener Henry Davids for 13. They tried to pinch-hit with the promoted Heino Kuhn, but once Kuhn and Martin van Jaarsveld fell to successive L Balaji deliveries in the eighth over, the game was all but over. Arguably, though, their captain van Jaarsveld had made the bigger mistake much earlier.

Van Jaarsveld knew he was taking a risk when he asked Knight Riders, who did not have a care in the world today, to bat. His decision at the toss was dictated by the overcast skies and dew expected later in the day. As it turned out, without any target or points to chase, Knight Riders played with the freedom they would have hoped to bring to more meaningful matches. On a pitch that produced a last-over thriller at around a run a ball, their top three basically threw their bats at nearly everything. It came off sensationally for Manvinder Bisla and Brendon McCullum for long enough to score 63 off 34 balls between them, but Gautam Gambhir embraced caution after McCullum's fall.

A period of 18 runs in four overs resulted in rash shots, and Jacques Kallis, Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan fell trying to hit sixes, within four runs of each other, to make it 133 for 5 in the 16th over. Das then did away with niceties and resumed swinging at anything that moved. Top edges flew over the keeper's head, swats avoided deep fielders, and in between he evened it all out with some brute hitting, including driving CJ de Villiers over long-off for a six.

Das and Manoj Tiwary added 55 off the last 27 balls to take Knight Riders to the highest total of the tournament. Batting seemed easy without the fear of consequences, but the result meant Tuesday's games were laden with consequence: three of the four teams in action will be playing for a semi-final spot.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on October 23, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    @WickyRoy.paklover: I like your arguments - they help me learn a lot. You are always in a hurry to make some quick and apparently witty comments but leave a lot of gaps in your bricks. Suppose I agree that KKR indeed were able to score 188 runs cos they threw their bat at everything and slogged form over 0.0 to 19.6. Ok, I concede this to you. But will you tell me what were Titans doing? Why couldn't they score any more than 89? KKR slogged while batting but did KKR also slogged while bowling? Is it possible to slog-bowl? Were Titans under any extra pressure other than the chase itself? Why were Titans not able to bat for 20 overs? Why were Titans not able to score 160 or 140 or even 120 runs? MI were chasing 173 vs CSK and got to 167, other teams also did similar things. The trend has been that teams batting 2nd have some advantage. In the light of all this, my dear Paklover please explain the points I have made above.

  • Harmon on October 23, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    @Brenton1: Ha Ha Ha. Titans are playing at home. If for them qualifying for the SF is noteworthy then I have nothing else to say. And btw, had KKR's match not been rained off they too had a damn good chance of getting in the SF. The way KKR exposed how woeful Titans are in the last match was ample proof of a side getting in top gear dismantling a home side that is mediocre at best. 89 all out in home conditions is best replied by a double LOL. The Lions barely managed to defeat a hopelessly low class Yorkshire, that too deserves a LOL.

  • Harmon on October 23, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    @JG2704: Either you have a memory lapse or you can't deal with things which are slightly complex. The line that you quoted was made in my original comment at the bottom and don't you know the context in which it was said? It was said after KKR had beaten Titans by 99 runs and DD had beaten PS even though they were playing after a long break. No where did I took into account the entire record of these teams. The initial losses came due to poor performance/application which in turn can be attributed to lack of preparation, bear in mind that IPL teams' players don't spend too much together. As time passed they were able to find their towel and then gave the most severe thrashing of the league. Scoring the highest total of the tournament and then bowling out the favored home team for the lowest total is by all means a champion performance. So the 0-3 etc records you talked about have no place in this context. Football can't be compared to cricket cos football is mostly club based. Got it?

  • John on October 23, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    @Harmony111 - The argument re financial clout is not misplaced at all. It happens in every sport. Look at football - would Man City have won the premiership last season without the megabucks pumped into the club? My best friend is a Man City fan and has been for decades and he is realistic enough to know/admit that his team is where it is because of these advantages.And re "I hope everyone now can see the difference in the quality of the IPL teams and the other teams" - I'm sorry but MI winning 0 of 3 , KKR 1 of 3 and CSK winning 2 of 4 hardly reflects the IPL teams superiority does it?

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    KKR just took too much time to gel together as a team , if they had merely qualified ,they would have been a force difficult to contain for any opposition.

  • Ali on October 22, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    @kale rajesh,Even Zim's bowling is better than india lolz

  • Bob on October 22, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    @ Haleos.. One might expect that with 4 teams... ( ie 4 times as many as 3 of the nations and twice as many as the other 4 nations) ... it would be a major surprise if one of the IPL teams didn't make the semi-final. But that doesn't hide the fact that three IPL teams are eliminated. Hardly what I would call a ringing endorsement of the standard of cricket played by these highly paid national and imported superstars...

  • Harmon on October 22, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    @JG2704: Did I not tell you that the overseas argument was completely misplaced? If anything it only shows that the overseas players can't play well in conditions they ought to be more familiar with. If anything it only shows that India's domestic players are only as good or bad as the domestic players of other teams. If anything then it only shows that a system is more than the sum of its parts. IPL teams do not get much time to prepare for tournaments esp for CLT20. Even for IPL some teams gather together only days before it starts. Here MJ, KP, GG, JK and other top class players joined their teams shortly before CLT20 started. Other teams had the advantage there. AA for eg were in SA 3 weeks (or more) before CLT20 started. Titans are the home team and still could score only 89 vs the so called weakest of the IPL teams but which was hitting its gears. This clearly shows IPL teams had the twin issues of lack of preparation and rained off matches. Other teams have much more issues.

  • Harmon on October 22, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    @WickyRoy.paklover: In your rush to somehow come up with a rebut you ended up making straw man arguments just to please yourself. Do a search and check again if anywhere in my comment did I say that DD's win over PS was a "THUMPING" win. Read carefully before you reply. KKR's win over Titans was for sure a mauling win, an obliterating win, a thrashing, a sucker-punch win, a punch-to-their-solar-plexus kind of win. Whatever little mistakes DD did in their match vs PS was due to the fact that they had had a long gap in their matches. They were almost starting from new and this showed in their batting. Bowlers can rectify their mistakes but batsmen get only one chance. I again ask you to check if anywhere I had said DD's win over PS was a THUMPING win. KKR got the highest total of the tournament and bowled out the home team Titans for the lowest total of the tournament. What do you have you say for this? Speechless eh?

  • Rakesh on October 22, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    @WickyRoy.paklover - DD are still in the tournament and would qualify for the semis unlike ur world record holder stallions who had to run back home with their tails hidden between their legs as soon as they came out on international stage.

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