Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) won its first match of IPL-IV at the Eden Gardens, getting the better of Deccan Chargers by nine runs here on Monday.
Set a target of 164 in 20 overs, Deccan Chargers' (DC) run chase suffered early jolts after it lost the openers for 15 runs in the fourth over. Jacques Kallis was declared the man of the match.
KR's decision to begin bowling with left-arm slow bowler Iqbal Abdulla was a master-stroke. The Mumbai lad did a tremendous job, snaring three wickets for 24 runs.
The openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Ishank Jaggi failed, which put the Chargers' middle-order under pressure.
With the exception of Bharat Chipli, who scored a workman like 48 off 40 balls with six fours and a six, the rest of the top order failed to come to terms with the condition of the pitch and the situation.
Opting to bat, KKR had a terrific start with the openers Jacques Kallis and Manvinder Singh Bisla putting on 51 runs for the first wicket in 8.2 overs. The South African got to his second successive half century of the tournament in quick time.
Bisla scored 19 off 21 balls with three fours before falling leg-before to leg-break bowler Amit Mishra.
Gambhir joined the South African in the middle at a time when the two spinners, Pragyan Ojha and Mishra, were bowling at their best. With the ball turning, the two KR batsmen played very sensibly to take control of the situation.
After the two added 39 runs for the second wicket in 4.1 overs, Kallis fell, well taken by Dhawan off Duminy for a well compiled 53 scored off 45 balls with the help of seven fours and a six. Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary joined his captain and produced another good partnership for the third wicket.
Tiwary hit Jean Paul Duminy for two sixes in three balls to give the crowd something to cheer about.
He and Gambhir added 43 for the wicket in 4.2 overs and threatened to take over the game. Gambhir tried to draw away from the stumps to work Mishra on the off side. He was beaten and bowled for 29 when the team's total was 133 in the 17th over.
The final three overs were very profitable for KKR as Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan went about hammering the DC bowling to add 30 runs for the fourth wicket in 3.1 overs.
Yusuf came up with a fine cameo for 22 off 15 balls with four boundaries and fell trying to hoist Steyn off the last ball of the innings.
Tiwary remained unbeaten on 30 off 21 balls with two fours and two sixes.
The innings ended at 163 for four leaving DC a tough task of chasing a very competitive target on a slowing wicket.
Mishra was the best bowler on view conceding a measly 19 in four overs and picking up two wickets.
Keywords: IPL 2011