Kolkata: Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders got back to winning ways as they outclassed Sunrisers Hyderabad by 48 runs to notch up their second win in the Pepsi Indian Premier League, here on Sunday.
A power-packed batting performance with significant contributions from skipper Gautam Gambhir (53), Eoin Morgan (47) and Jacques Kallis (41) enabled KKR to reach a commanding 180 for four on a slow track.
Sunrisers didn`t have the firepower to make a match of it as they managed only 132 for seven as all the KKR bowlers put up an impressive show.
After his useful knock with the bat, Kallis bowled splendidly to end with brilliant figures of three for 13 while Lankan offie Sachitra Senanayake justified his selection above Brendon McCullum picking up one for 18 in his four overs.
While openers Parthiv Patel (27) and Cameron White (34) added 57 runs for the opening stand, Sunrisers` chase never took off as the KKR bowlers varied the pace of the deliveries effectively on a slowish track.
Once White was brilliantly caught by Yusuf Pathan, who timed his jump at the boundary line to perfection, the chase was as good as over. The KKR outfielding was also exceptional on the day as Manoj Tiwary took as many three well-judged catches in the deep.
Thisara Perera (36, 25 balls) also threw his bat around but there was too much to do with too little time left in the end.
The loss was Sunrisers’ second in five matches and also put a question mark on their ability to chase down big totals. The three wins that they have notched up so far has been low scoring ones and the lack of batting depth is seriously hurting the Hyderabad franchise.
Kumar Sangakkara and Co will be eagerly waiting for Shikhar Dhawan to recover from his knuckle fracture and get back into the thick of things.
Opting to bat, Gambhir scored an attractive 53 off 45 balls with the help of six boundaries and a big six while courtesy Morgan, the home team finished their innings with a flourish as he smashed 47 off 21 balls, hitting five fours and three sixes in the process.
Legendary all-rounder Kallis also scored a useful 41 off 27 deliveries with six fours. Kallis and Morgan clobbered 67 runs for the third wicket in only five overs which made the total look mammoth one, considering the slow nature of the track.
In fact, 18th over from Thisara Perera yielded 22 runs as the left-hander hit him for three fours and a six.
Manvinder Bisla (28), who hasn`t made much of an impact in the earlier matches, showed positive intent as he came down the track to hit off-spinner Hanuma Vihari for a couple of boundaries.
The Haryana lad used the Power-play overs to good effect as he repeatedly lofted the bowlers during the first six overs as he hit five boundaries in the process.
Not the one to be left behind, skipper Gambhir also started taking on the bowlers as the 50 run partnership was completed in only 6.4 overs.
Bisla however couldn`t curb his impetuosity as he tried to hoick rookie Railways leg-spinner Karan Sharma but was caught in deep by Vihari.
There was no stopping Gambhir who was even successful in bisecting the fielders stationed at the boundary line when he hit Amit Mishra. The skipper then lofted Karan for a big six over long-on. The left-hander completed his 50 with seven boundaries, including and a six.
The KKR skipper didn`t last long once he completed his half-century as medium pacer Ashish Reddy bowled one in the blockhole which uprooted the off-stump.