So it has been proved yet again that cricket is not a one-man game. If it was, then Chris Gayle‘s heroics in the end should have seen RCB home. But it didn’t and once again, it was the better team which won! After giving away 190 runs in a slow and low Eden track, RCB had enough worries and it needed a Herculean effort on their part to win it from there. But they lost wickets at regular intervals and the Knights bowlers did a decent job at stemming the runs. Gayle, though looked settled to unsettle the inevitable, produced some lusty blows before paying the price for being over-ambitious. RCB ended at 143/6 and the Knights won by a decent 47-run margin.
Earlier, the evening belonged to Gautam Gambhir as he made merry of the RCB bowlers hitting them all over the park. He was determined to keep up the pressure and was well complimented by Brendon McCullum and Jacques Kallis who kept up the momentum.
Hero of the evening
As expected, the weather didn’t intervene and the crowd got to see a cracker of a match at the Eden Gardens. The Knight Riders skipper steeped onto the occasion and scored 93 off 51 balls to see his team through comfortably, while emerging as the Hero of the evening in the process. Gambhir’s flamboyancy cannot be compared to Gayle’s powerful hits in the end. Gambhir played pure cricketing shots and 11 of his 14 boundaries came on the leg-side as he chose to pull anything that was pitched short. He unsettled every new bowler with his classic strokes and looked at ease on a pitch where the other batsmen found it difficult.
With 190 on board, Gambhir played out a masterpiece by bringing in Yusuf Pathan in place of Brett Lee or Jack Kallis to open the bowling. The move paid off as three wickets toppled in quick succession.
The unexpected star
This is definitely Yusuf Pathan. His captain had enough faith in him and persisted with him despite his repeated failures. But Pathan didn’t disappoint in his 9th match. He picked up the crucial wicket of Tillekaratne Dilshan in the first over when Gambhir threw the ball to him. Besides, he hit a massive over-boundary in the death overs to ensure the Knights finished at 190.
Flop of the evening
Zaheer Khan was the flop of the evening as he gave away 48 runs off his quota of 4 overs. He did pick up Gambhir’s wicket in the 19th over, but his economy (12 r.p.o.) meant the Knights had piled up a mammoth 190/4.
Contest of the evening
Brendon McCullum versus Daniel Vettori was the rivalry to watch out for. The Kiwi captain proved better of the duo as he gave McCullum nightmares initially before cleaning him up in the 11th over. But McCullum had done enough damage by then and it was left to Gambhir and Kallis to finish up the job.
It took place in the third over of the Challengers’ innings. Chris Gayle mis-hit a Yusuf Pathan delivery and it went straight up in the air. Four fielders ran towards the ball but Sunil Narine misjudged his position and messed up the catch in the mid-off region. The entire crowd went silent as the danger man prevailed.
The crucial move
Opening the bowling with a part-timer like Yusuf Pathan was a risky gamble for Gambhir. But Yusuf didn’t disappoint as he got the wicket of Dilshan in the very third ball. He paved the way for Jacques Kallis who picked up two massive wickets of Kohli and de Villiers in successive balls.
Where they stand now
The result of the match didn’t alter the positions in the Points Table. While RCB still held on to the fourth spot, the Knights closed their gap on the leaders Delhi Daredevils to only 1 point. So after 9 matches, KKR is at 2nd followed by Chennai Superkings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Daredevils still head the pack with 12 points out of 8 matches.