Kings XI v Knight Riders, IPL 2014, Cuttack May 11, 2014

Calm Knight Riders secure big win


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'Gambhir key to KKR turnaround'

Kolkata Knight Riders 150 for 1 (Gambhir 63*, Uthappa 46) beat Kings XI Punjab 149 for 8 (Sehwag 72, Chawla 3-19) by nine wickets

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Gautam Gambhir's third successive fifty anchored Kolkata Knight Riders' chase and steered them to a nine-wicket win over table-toppers Kings XI Punjab. The Knight Riders bowlers had pinned Kings XI down to 149 - the second time in the tournament they were kept to less than 150 - despite a swift 72 from Virender Sehwag.

The opening pair of Robin Uthappa and Gambhir - with two century stands in their last few games - set the platform for the chase, racing to 68 in seven overs. Uthappa's fluency was evident early on as he laid into Sandeep Sharma's second over, taking three fours off him, before collecting another 18 off Mitchell Johnson. Uthappa's 28-ball 46 brought the asking rate under control and put the chase firmly within Knight Riders' reach.

Conscious, perhaps, of the fact that another batting meltdown could end up becoming the symbol of Knight Riders' campaign, Gambhir and Manish Pandey played mostly percentage cricket in their unbeaten 82-run stand, which took the team home with two overs to spare. There were a few run-out chances but Kings XI did not have the best day in the field- George Bailey's dropped catch off Gambhir in the 17th over was the best example of that.

Kings XI, who had opted for a seam-centric attack, would have felt the absence of a second spinner, especially after Akshar Patel kept Gambhir and Pandey quiet for a couple of overs in the middle. However, the biggest factor in the result was the stark difference between the two halves of the Kings XI innings.

Coming into this game, Knight Riders were the most economical team in the death overs in the IPL, giving away just 8.30 runs an over. In the UAE leg, they were also the team that managed to stifle Kings XI successfully. That control with the ball, especially in the latter half of the innings, set up the game for the side. At 10 overs, Kings XI were 85 for 2, but they made only 64 for 6 in the next ten.

One of Knight Riders' chief contributors was Piyush Chawla, who was brought back in place of Shakib Al Hasan. In UAE against Kings XI, the legspinner had figures of 4-0-19-3 and he finished even this game with the same numbers. Chawla struck immediately with the big wicket of Glenn Maxwell, and then got rid of Sehwag and Rishi Dhawan in the 15th and 17th overs. Chawla, along with Ryan ten Doeschate and Morne Morkel, smothered any momentum Kings XI would have hoped to build.

Narine came on at the end and choked the run flow and even the normally industrious Bailey found it difficult to push for boundaries. Between the 15th and 20th overs, Kings XI - who average 50 runs in this period of play - scored only three boundaries, and two of them were from Mitchell Johnson.

Before the ten-over mark, though, the innings was all about Sehwag and that was the most heartening sight for Kings XI. His studied nonchalance of old was on display when he smacked the first ball of the match, off Jacques Kallis, for four through the off side and then capitalised down leg as the bowler tried to compensate. He got to 50 off 35 balls, but like most Sehwag innings, the opposition also had their share of chances. He was dropped in the second over and a few shots fell out of reach of the fielders. Luckily for the Knight Riders, those mistakes weren't too costly in the end.

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 12, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    Piyush chawla deserved man of the match as he took two important wickets of maxi, sehwag and dhawan. Gambhir also played well, but pijush chawla suprisingly bowled well and needs to be appreciated and encouraged. About shakib, may be team mgment thought of having medium pacee alrounder in ryan tendo in this match as they already have two main spinners.

  • Speng on May 12, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Does KKR really need Kallis to bowl? They have so many good bowlers I don't really see the point. They should have him concentrate on his batting, although to be honest that's not too good right now either.

    Shakib is amazing... just look at his stats for this year.;team=4341;type=tournament

  • espncricinfomobile on May 12, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    Kallis should just become a batsman as his bowling has been all over the place this ipl. The way he plays is either make or a break due to the amount of time he takes to get in. Why are so many people having a go at shakib ? He is an excellent finisher of the game and a great bowler during the first power play and the middle overs because he bowls his overs quickly and is very accurate . I don't get how he can't be a match winner when he holds the 2nd best t20 bowling figures of all time (6/6). Doscete is good but not on shakib's level who has won many games by himself for Bangladesh and the Barbados Tridents. To say he's not good is just stupid. He may not be legendary but he's a match winner for sure. I think shakib and pat cummin's should Come in for Kallis ( who has shown nothing since the first game) and doscete (who mad a duck and hasn't done anything with the ball.)

  • android_user on May 12, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    there is some thing wrong.....why sakib dropped !!! better player should play.....must in the team...

  • CricFan707 on May 12, 2014, 10:57 GMT

    I don't why people are talking. Morkel taking his place bowled brilliantly and Chawla also took 3 wickets. I think KKR should continue with the same team. @Durbar Plz don't say anything blindly. Shakib's batting avg is 20 while ten doeschate's is 30. Also shakib's strike rate is 128 while tendo's is 137. I know you are big fan of Shakib but plz don't undermine other players. ten doeschate is easily a better batsman than shakib in all forms of cricket. He is a legend in England and has already proven himself for kkr.

  • dummy4fb on May 12, 2014, 10:23 GMT

    We never said he was the best its the ranking that did do the talking. Big guns like Hafeez,Mathews,watson,bravo,afridi they Never Played in Bangladesh Cricket team nor in netherlands. They have and always had played with the other stars with low pressure and a huge support from other players. Its easy to be Hafeez when u have ajmal gul names with your scorecard. Sakib would have been no where closer to kallis 5 years ago. But its 2014 92 matches with a strike rate less than 110 and a economy rate of over 7 its not about the name its about performance. Sakib is option that KKR have when in the powerplays they get wacked by other teams. If narine bowls then who will bowl in the end? In the pitch of kuttack WILL KKR prefer Kallis over Shakib in the next match.. let a wise man decide.

  • android_user on May 12, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    not tu go on the records sakib a all round class act

  • dummy4fb on May 12, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    Philip_0132 are you kidding me bro? Shakib is no where near Kallis & Sobers. Even though am Bangladeshi,I don't measure him above those greats

  • android_user on May 12, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    If yu are kkr fan who is playing well tell me it uttappa..gambir..manish or fr please

  • Marcel_Ci on May 12, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    y ppl r criticizing shakib here. he is known alrounder. currently best in the world none of the asian teams or others international teams hav alrounder of caliber of shakib. certainly he is the best there is no doubt in tht. its just a fault of kkr that they did not utilize his world class talent properly. we can easily count shakib in catergory of kallis cairns & sobers. shakib is more closer to sobers as far as his bowling & batting style is considered.

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