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Kolkata beat Bangalore by 47 runs In IPL-5 Clash

KOLKATA: Gautam Gambhir batted with gay abandon and the bowlers backed up their captain’s effort with another disciplined performance to help Team Kolkata brush aside Bangalore by 47 runs in their IPL-5 clash at Eden Gardens on a humid Saturday evening. The dreaded Nor’wester, which had ruined fans’ happiness last Tuesday in the tie against Hyderabad, stayed away, allowing Gambhir (93 off 51, 9×4, 5×6) to take centrestage in front of 58,000 screaming fans.

Overhauling Kolkata’s 190/4 would have required at least two of the three dangerous Bangalore bashers to fire on all cylinders. But once T Dilshan was snapped up by Yusuf Pathan in the first over — his angry celebrations perhaps a reflection of his pent-up frustration — and Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers fell off successive balls to Jacques Kallis, the match was as good as over.

At 34/3 in the sixth over, with the cream of Bangalore’s batting having been devoured, even aChris Gayle was left with too much to do. He was dropped by Sunil Narine on 12, but to his credit didn’t throw it away till he got out off the penultimate ball. Gayle’s 86 off 58 balls still had the usual quota of big hits (7×4, 6×6). By that time, the asking rate had climbed ridiculously high and Bangalore ended on 143/6.

Earlier, Gambhir called correctly and chose to bat first as Kolkata abandoned their preferred strategy of chasing, the captain justifying his decision by saying that the batsmen, for once, wanted to play sans any pressure. There was a welcome change in the thought process in team selection as well. Left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla, Team Kolkata’s most successful bowler in 2011, got in at the expense of Laxmipathy Balaji, while fit-again allrounder LR Shukla returned to the XI after five games replacing Manvinder Bisla.

Gambhir was true to his word and made it clear that he was out there to enjoy himself. He greeted Zaheer Khan with a fiercely cut first-ball four, and repeated the treatment to Dilshan and Harshal Patel (six over midwicket).

Brendon McCullum struggled at the other end, but the captain played like a man possessed. Pulling anything remotely short — and Zaheer & Co. provided quite a few hit-me balls — with power and using his feet well against left-arm spinners Daniel Vettori and K Appanna, Gambhir kept dispatching balls to the boundary and over the ropes.

The left-hander had a couple of close calls off Zaheer early in his innings, Patel and Gayle grassing catches at thirdman and point respectively. But that didn’t deter the southpaw from continuing with his merry ways before falling to a tired-looking shot in the 19th over, seven runs short of what would have been a deserving hundred.

McCullum (43 off 37 balls, 8×4) after scratching around for 11 runs from his first 20 balls, upped the tempo to add 32 more from the next 17 deliveries he received. Meanwhile, Kallis (41 off 27) hit three classy sixes towards the end of the innings.

Short URL: http://www.cckerala.com/?p=9070

Posted by on Apr 29 2012. Filed under Cricket News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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