A swashbuckling innings from Gautam Gambhir saw Kolkata Knight Riders thrash Royal Challengers Bangalore by 47 runs to continue their winning streak. Gautam Gambhir smashed a belligerent 93 that saw the Kolkata team amass a huge 190/4 to which the Bangalore side could only muster 146/6.
Earlier, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to bat on a flat pitch at the Eden Gardens. The dynamic left hander from the Kolkata side came out firing as he took on the Royal Challengers. He pulled the ball ferociously and drove with ease as he murdered the likes of Zaheer Khan. The KKR openers gave the team a solid start by adding 95 runs in 10 overs before Brendon McCullum fell after a laborious 43 off 37 balls. Gambhir, on the other hand, looked at ultimate ease as he carried on to get KKR to a mammoth score.
The Royal Challengers made the job easy for Gambhir as they dropped him twice at the beginning of his innings. The most expensive Indian player took full toll of it and smashed his way to a 51 ball 93. He hit five sixes and nine fours before he held out at long off in the 19th over. Kallis provided with the final push with an unbeaten 27 ball 41 to propell the score to 190/4.
The Royal Challenger bowlers suffered badly in the hands of Gambhir. Zaheer Khan suffered the worst conceding 48 in his four overs. Vinay Kumar picked up two while Daniel Vettori and Zaheer got one a piece.
The Bangalore innings got off to the worst start possible as they lost Dilshan, Kohli and AB de Villiers within thirty five runs. Only Chris Gayle tried to make a dash at the Kolkata total as the tall left hander smashed a 58 ball 86 that contained sever fours and six sixes. But the gallant effort from the Jamaican fell short as no one else from the Royal Challengers who could provide him with support from the other end. Saurabh Tiwary tried to hang around with Gayle but fell to Bhatia for 19.
For Kolkata, Jacques Kallis picked up two wickets while Bhatia, Shukla, Pathan and Narine picked up one a piece. The KKR bowlers kept their cool in spite of Gayle taking off and kept chipping away at the wickets from the other end.
The win here at Eden Gardens helps the Knight Riders to strengthen their hold at the top half of the table while the Royal Challengers continue their bumpy ride throughout the IPL. The Bangalore side had been leaking runs in most of their matches and will be looking forward to fix their bowling and fielding before they lock horns with the Kings XI. Kolkata, on the other hand, has had a descent run of form and would like to continue it when they take on the Chennai Super Kings.
Kolkata Knight Riders 190/4 (20/20 ov)
RCB 143/6 (20/20 ov)
Man of the Match: Gautam Gambhir