Kolkata: It was an easy victory for Kolkata Knight Riders as stupendous innings by Manoj Tiwary and Brad Hodge guided the team to a 7-wicket win against Bangalore Royal Challengers in the fourth encounter of the Indian Premier League season three, here on Sunday.
Sourav Ganguly could have not asked for more in front of his and his team’s home ground as Tiwary and Hodge helped Kolkata Knight Riders reach their target of 136 with 4 balls still to spare.
Everything seemed to be going in favour of Kolkata from the very beginning; first they won the toss and did what they had to, that is, bowl first; and then, the bowlers ruptured through the top and middle order of Bangalore Royal Challengers, barring Kallis, literally forcing them to struggle for a respectable score.
Kolkata Knight Riders kept their hold firm as Jacques Kallis’ lone heroics somehow helped Bangalore post a decent 135/7.
Bangalore lost four of their very important batsmen in the early overs. While Shreevats Goswami was departed for mere 8 runs; thanks to Charl Langeveldt who got him caught by Ishant Sharma; Manish Pandey, on the other, was mercilessly bowled out by Angelo Matthews for a duck.
Later, Virat Kohli’s stay on the pitch was too cut short by Murali Kartik, who got him caught by Matthews at the long on for just two runs. Eoin Morgan too failed to add much weight to his team’s score as a smart delivery by Kartik bowled him out for 10 runs, thus reducing Bangalore to 35/4.
However, the Vijay Mallya-owned team got some respite in their innings, thanks to Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid, whose occasional boundaries helped them cross the 70-run mark.
The scenario, however, did not please Matthews as he claimed three important wickets in quick successions in the later half of the first innings, to again give jitters to Bangalore. First, he broke the Kallis-Dravid partnership by bowling out the latter for 21 runs. He then struck again to dismiss, Robin Uthappa (20) and Roelof van der Merwe (1) in the 18th over, to reduce again halt Bangalore’s momentum.
Kallis, however, remained the lone warrior on the field as he tried scored a hard-earned 65 runs, to end his team’s innings at 135/7.
But, Tiwary and Hodge made the 136-run target chase look very meager. Opening the innings for Kolkata Knight Riders, both the batmen displayed fireworks from the very beginning, giving out a very clear message; Kolkata will just accept a victory in front of their home crowd!
Both, Tiwary (50) and Hodge (50), did not allow Bangalore Royal Challengers’ fielders to rest even a bit as some sparkling hitting by both the players took Kolkata Knight Riders’ past the 100-run mark. Both, Tiwary and Hodge, claimed their IPL fifties in the process; this being the fourth for Hodge.
Bangalore, however, could later breathe a sigh of relief as they finally clinched the prized wickets of Tiwary and Hogde. But again, the wickets came too for them as the Knight Riders had already caused much damage. Hodge’s dismissal left Kolkata just 24 runs away from victory; a formality which was later very comfortably and happily completed by skipper Sourav Ganguly (23).
First Published: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 19:21