Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2011, Jaipur April 15, 2011

Gambhir, Kallis set up thumping win

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Kolkata Knight Riders 160 for 1 (Gambhir 75*, Kallis 80*) beat Rajasthan Royals 159 (Dravid 35, Taylor 35*) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kolkata Knight Riders won by nine wickets and with nine deliveries to spare. It shouldn't have been that easy but Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kallis starred in a supremely well-paced chase as Kolkata successfully hunted down a potentially tough 160-run target on a sluggish track in Jaipur.

The first game-seizing moment of the chase came in the sixth over, bowled by Amit Singh. Kolkata were 44 for 1 from five overs and it was obvious that they had to fully utilise the new ball and the Powerplay on this slow track. It was an over that could have tilted the game either way: Amit tried to keep it tight, Gambhir took risks, two shots eluded palms of fielders in the off side but not by much, and Gambhir looted 18 runs. He flat-batted the first ball past the diving Ross Taylor at extra cover, slashed the third past the diving Abhishek Raut at point, glanced the fourth to fine-leg, and crashed the final delivery over mid-off.

The second turning point was Gambhir's contest with Shane Warne, who introduced himself in the seventh over. Gambhir cut his third delivery through the covers, and slog swept the first ball of the 10th over to collect another four. When Warne gave himself another over, to try and pick up a wicket, Gambhir sashayed down the track and scythed a flighted delivery through extra cover. By the end of that over, Kolkata only needed 58 runs from 48 balls and Gambhir and Kallis stayed till the end to achieve a comfortable win.

Gambhir found great support in Kallis, who was instrumental in starting the chase in a positive fashion. He lifted Ashok Menaria's left-arm spin for a four and a six over long-off in the third over, whipped Shane Watson to midwicket and slashed Nayan Doshi through backward point. He dropped anchor once Gambhir took over the baton.

Rajasthan would probably wish they had played Shaun Tait to create wicket-taking opportunities but they had put up a pretty decent batting effort. Fuelled by calculated aggression from Rahul Dravid and Menaria, who seemed to be aiming for something around 160, Rajasthan reached 75 for 1 from 11 overs. It seemed at that stage that their job, especially Dravid's, was done and it was time to hand the reins over to Shane Watson and Ross Taylor.

In the 12th over, Yusuf Pathan had a double strike - Dravid didn't connect with a slog and Menaria swatted a return catch, and the stage was set for the two big hitters. Rajasthan seized momentum by looting 14 runs in the 16th over with Taylor spanking a long hop and a full toss from L Balaji for sixes.

There was a mini-contest too on show: Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh's captain,who saw Watson wreck their side only few days back was entrusted with the task of bowling at him. Shakib himself had just given 26 runs from 20 deliveries to Watson on that day and so, it wasn't going to be a one-sided contest. Watson heaved Shakib Al Hasan for a straight six in the 14th over and slog-swept him over wide midwicket for another six in the 17th over. Shakib slowed up the pace on the next delivery and Watson was bowled as he missed another attempted slog sweep. Rajasthan were 125 for 4 at that stage, and Taylor stayed till the end to guide them to a good total. But they were thwarted by a fabulous captain's knock from Gambhir.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sagorr007 on April 18, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    sakib go ahead !!! we are with u...kkr win the trophy this time pliz ....u hav really great players and stabled team :D

  • rajachandra on April 17, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    RR paid the price for dropping Dravid in today's return match ! What a thrashing !

  • jorock on April 17, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    My team RR just missed a trick in this match nut dont worry guys we are in Kolkata today to give bac what we had got. I think shane warne stcks to person were he is comfortable morethan talent . They are wasting a talent like Rahane he is one of the capable characters in India rite now and even he will make it to the Indian team in nera future.Just beching him doesn't gives an excuses. I beleive teh players like Pankaj ,Pinal Shah, Rahane just came out after a outstanding domestic cricket and they are not in the 11 . I didn't get the point in selecting the paleyrs like pauniker,raut in the team which gives RR A slight disadvantage when it is crunch game.My team for today will be Rahane,Watson,Dravid,Botha,Taylor,Mineria,Pinal Shah,Warne,Trivedi,Pankaj Sing,Amit Singh which gives him rather a good bowling unit as well as batting unit.Please comeout from the shell of australian hipocarct to good player which you are. This will strenght up RR AND EVEN THEY CAN GO THE DISTANCE

  • Maimun_IT_Consultant on April 17, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    Sakib Al Ahsan........Rocks.......

  • Finn92 on April 16, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    I can't believe RCB let Kallis go, it all looks so easy for him in IPL cricket. It's also very nice to see a Bangladeshi taking part

  • ONE4U on April 16, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    More of a Gambhir praise note rather than a match report. Interesting to read "Gambhir found great support in Kallis" who by the way while doing this SUPPORT role scored more than his principal partner??????????

  • dummy4fb on April 16, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Hats of to KKRas they showed tremendous character...

  • dummy4fb on April 16, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    well said ashlee99. Bisla isn't suitable for opening. KKR has a great tactician like Dave Whatmore. hope he will think about it. As a Bangladeshi Bengali I would like to see KKR "CHAMPION". Carry on boys.

  • Noman_Yousuf_Dandore on April 16, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Did anyone notice that KKR's bowlers bowled so consistently that their 3 bowlers gave exactly 31 runs each in their respective four overs, one gave 29 runs & the combined figures of the fifth bowler read 30 runs from the four overs. Spooky!

  • dummy4fb on April 16, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    KKR got the momentum.Bengali New Year's greetings to the boys. Just keep going!!

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