Sunrisers fall well short of stiff target set up by good knocks from Gambhir and Morgan
Kolkata Knight Riders scored their second successive win at home by convincingly beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 48 runs in their IPL fixture at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.
The home side’s famed batting line-up came good with express contributions from captain Gautam Gambhir and Eoin Morgan to notch up 180 for four.
Sunrisers’ batting faltered and could manage only 132 for seven from their 20 overs.
The lack of depth in Sunrisers’ batting was exposed when the visitors failed to rise to the demand of a big run chase. Needing to score at nine-an-over, the visitor started on a decent note with the unusual pair of Parthiv Patel and Cameron White tackling the Knight Riders’ pace-spin gambit rather efficiently.
The two added 57 runs at a brisk pace before Patel (27) departed in the ninth over. That was the best that the visitor could do as the rest of the wickets fell at regular interval, as the hosts took control.
Knight Riders found a new trump-card in Sri Lankan off-spinner Sachitra Senanayake, who put the brakes on the visitors’ chase, returning figures of 4-0-18-1 on debut.
But the most effective bowling came from Kallis who picked to three for 13 with his accuracy and experience.
Earlier, Gambhir hit a stroke-filled 53, tackling a strong Sunrisers attack with elan. He hit boundaries off every bowler except Dale Steyn, who worked up good pace and kept a tight line on a relatively placid Eden track.
Openers Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla put up their best stand in the tournament so far, stroking freely and picking up boundaries in every over.
Sunrisers skipper Sangakkara brought on Hanuma Vihari in the second over and Bisla and Gambhir made the most of the young off-spinner’s inexperience to pick up three boundaries as the over cost the visitors 15 runs.
This was the start the host was looking for, and the opening pair breezed through to 59 before Bisla departed trying to hoist leg-spinner Karan Sharma, only to be caught at deep midwicket by Vihari.
The setback did not dampen the hosts’ spirit, and Gambhir took charge of the scoring in the company of Jacques Kallis.
After Gambhir fell at 53 in the 14th over, Morgan, who is the other in-form batsman for the hosts, took over the task of keeping up the run-rate, in partnership with Kallis.
Morgan smacked Thisara Perera for four boundaries and a six to pick up 22 runs in the 18th over. He even hit Steyn for a boundary and a six before being run out three run short of a half-century.
The host reached 180 — losing Kallis in the last over to another run out – which was a good score on the Eden wicket that hardly supports runs.