Chennai v Kolkata, IPL 2012, Chennai April 30, 2012

Gambhir continues Kolkata's success


Kolkata Knight Riders 140 for 5 (Gambhir 63, Ashwin 2-22) beat Chennai Super Kings 139 for 5 (Raina 44, Kallis 2-21) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kolkata Knight Riders continued their impressive run, picking up a hard-fought win over the defending champions with an all-round performance that included a disciplined effort with the ball and another Gautam Gambhir-anchored batting display. Each of his four half-centuries have contributed to wins for his team and yet again, on a slow track, Gambhir guided the chase with determination. With the ball keeping low and not coming on well enough, Chennai Super Kings managed a par score but it was to be insufficient, with their opponents, largely, ensuring the mistakes made by batsmen in the first innings were not repeated.

The game went in to the last over but the Knight Riders were on top for 18 overs in the chase. Gambhir approached the target positively, dispatching the bad balls with ease, not taking any undue risks, knowing that there was ammunition down the order even if some momentum was lost in the quest for stability. He lost Brendon McCullum early, but, after two boundaries through the off side, settled down to build a steady stand of 70 with Jacques Kallis.

While there was a regular flow of singles, Gambhir and Kallis did indulge in some power-play, keeping the required-rate well in control. Kallis slog-swept R Ashwin over square leg, Gambhir charged out and launched Shadab Jakati over long-on and the Super Kings bowlers didn't help their case with a spate of wides, eight of them in all. Extras aside, the pair ran 32 singles and two twos, using their feet well, playing the ball late, using the sweep, cuts and dabs in a period of busy accumulation. The required-rate rose when Kallis fell, and the equation was 48 off 36, but Dwayne Bravo gave width, and then dropped too short, to be punished for consecutive fours by Gambhir on either side of the pitch.

With 16 needed off 12, the Knight Riders were still in control but the fall of Gambhir, trapped in front while trying to swing Bravo over midwicket, caused a scare in the visitors' camp. Debabrata Das put that to temporary rest, flicking his first ball past short fine for four and then erased it completely following another failure from Yusuf Pathan, smashing Ashwin over midwicket for four to finish the game. That role in the finish prompted Gambhir to hand over his Man-of-the-Match award to Das.

Greater maturity in batting and a superior performance in the field were two significant factors that separated the teams. While Super Kings missed out on chances to run-out Gambhir and Kallis, Brett Lee was excellent in catching Michael Hussey short early after the hosts chose to bat. Suresh Raina and Dwayne Bravo had helped Super Kings recover with a 42-run stand, one that should have continued in its steady vein for a few more overs. But the two couldn't wait to infuse the innings with more urgency. Both fell to Kallis, who mixed up his pace well; a slower one was holed out to long-on by Bravo and, in Kallis' next over, Raina's slog only went as far as midwicket.

The spin pair of Iqbal Abdulla and Sunil Narine, together with Rajat Bhatia's dibbly-dobblies, kept further check on Super Kings, doing their bit to produce a boundary-drought of 47 deliveries. Stepping up proved a difficult job but even though Super Kings took 21 off the final two overs, it wasn't enough to withstand a controlled response from Knight Riders.

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ANOOP on May 2, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    Gambir please Change the batting order of yousef pathan to no 1 to no 3 and give a chance to Morgan instead of McCullum .Also give rest to Kalis by bringing Shakib Al Hasan.

  • jho on May 2, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    With BIG hitters (Raina,Dhoni,Jadeja,Albie,bravo) in team still CSK not utlilised its middle overs (11-15) as expected. No need to wait for last 3 overs to Hit! All days are not sundays!

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2012, 1:25 GMT

    i think yusuf must be dropped after all his poor performance......instead bisla should play,also mccullum must make way for shakib al hasan

  • a on May 2, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    well said @Deekshaspeaks.

  • a on May 2, 2012, 1:00 GMT

    CSK - pick Morkel, Bollinger, Hilfy, Ashwin and Jakati as bowler. much stronger bowling attack.<no bravo>. pick Faf, Badri, Raina, Dhoni, Anirudha, Jadeja. CSK would be well advised to not count Bravo and Jadeja as true allrounders, like Jacques Kallis. And therefore, they'd be better off playing specialist batsmen and bowlers with Albie being the sole 'all rounder'.

  • Javed on May 1, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    How in the world BB McCullum could be a better batsman than MS Bisla? McCullum scored only 81 runs (Avg 13.50) in IPL-5, where Bisla scored 123 runs (Avg 24.60).

  • P on May 1, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    KKR is riding on its bowlers and one batsman. Kallis can't score fast and Tiwary been quite ordinary. Biggest failures are Yusuf and McCullum. Replace them by Shakib and Bisla, Balaji in place of Shukla, and you got a somewhat ok batting line-up. The day KKR bowlers are hit bad, no way can KKR chase down a target of 150+ against a decent attack.

  • Javed on May 1, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    KKR needs two changes, McCullum and Pathan should not be in the squad. Shakib and Bisla should be played instead. Shakib's bowling is much better than Pathan. McCullum scored highest 43 against RCB, but he got life 3 times in that match.

  • Hafiz on May 1, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    as i continued to say,mac will play 1 good innings from 10 innings.without gauti ,kkr is long gone if they don't take shakib or morgan for the middle order.bisla should open with gauti.kallis at one down and then shakib,then tiwari.pathan should be dropped.

  • Dummy4 on May 1, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    dhoni the worst performer in ipl 5. dhoni please sit in the room, give ur place another player.I have been irritating with ur batting yesterday. you know one thing i am big fan of you.

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