April 29, 2012 at 7:43 am · Sports
Gautam Gambhir made Royal Challengers Bangalore pay for dropping him twice, batting with aggression and precision to lead Kolkata Knight Riders to a match-winning total, which the visitors struggled to chase on a traditionally slow pitch at Eden Gardens. Gambhir used the depth of his crease, as well as his feet, to pound the leg side, where he scored 11 out of his 14 boundaries, primarily through pull shots. His 93, and supporting acts from Brendon McCullum and Jacques Kallis, helped Knight Riders stay No. 2 and move two points clear of their closest rivals, Royal Challengers and Chennai Super Kings.
Knight Riders’ bowlers also came to the fore during the defence, striking early and neutralising their biggest threat, Chris Gayle, by keeping him off strike. Yusuf Pathan, who has struggled for form with bat and ball, bowled an economical opening spell, during which he dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan in the first over. In the sixth, Kallis ripped the heart out of Royal Challengers’ chase by trapping Virat Kohli lbw and having AB de Villiers caught miscuing a pull off his first ball. The visitors were 34 for 3, and by the end of the eighth over Gayle had faced only 16 balls and scored as many runs. The chase went nowhere after that, despite Gayle batting until the 20th over to finish with 86 off 58; Sunil Narine confounding batsmen with his variations on a responsive pitch.
Kolkata Knight Riders 190 for 4 (Gambhir 93, McCullum 43) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 143 for 6 (Gayle 86) by 48 runs