KKR vs RCB: From Kolkata's 7 ducks to Orange, Purple; thanks to Bangalore

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata | Updated: May 23 2014, 10:26am hrs
Virat Kohli and Yogesh Takawale were stitching together a formidable second-wicket partnership after Chris Gayle had been dismissed leg-before, off an Umesh Yadav delivery that had pitched in the line and moved enough to have missed the leg stump by at least six inches.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and the young opener, however, were steadily building up the chase. As Vinay Kumar came on to bowl, in the seventh over of the innings, they upped the ante. Chasing 196 for victory, Bangalore had moved to 72 for one by the end of the tenth over.

The Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir sensed the danger and brought on Sunil Narine for his second spell. Gambhir has usually reserved his best bowler for the death overs, but in this case, his move paid instant dividends.

Narine got rid of Kohli in the second over of his second spell. The ball, pushed wide outside the off stump, bounced more than the batsman had anticipated due to Narines extra zip. Kohli went for the cut but got a top edge. A diving Morne Morkel at short third-man snapped up the opportunity.

Narine also accounted for Takawale in the last ball of that over an off break that crashed through the gate. Suddenly, Bangalore had been reduced to 93 for three.

NARINE AGAIN

The partnership of Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers still stood between the Knight Riders and a playoff-clinching victory. Yuvraj had hit Yadav for two sixes and a four in the 16th over and Gambhir called on Narine again.

He took just two balls to dismiss Yuvraj a mistimed drive to a full delivery that dipped sharply ended in an easy catch to Vinay Kumar at long on. De Villiers had his off-stump pegged back by a straight one.

On a perfect batting wicket at Eden Gardens, Narine returned with the figures of four for 20 in four overs. He became the new holder of the Purple Cap in the process, with an overall tally of 20 wickets from 13 matches.

Robin Uthappa, as has been customary this season, was the teams batting hero. He took over Glenn Maxwell mantle of being the highest scorer this season during his 51-ball 83 (10X4, 1X6) to take possession of the Orange Cap. he now has 572 runs from 13 matches at a strike-rate of 137.50.

After Kolkata were sent in by Kohli, Uthappa scored his fifth half-century of this IPL to garner another Man of the Match award. Gambhir was caught down the leg side off Mitchell Starc off the fifth ball. Manish Pandey (13), too, got out early while Yusuf Pathan gifted his wicket away, going for a non-existent single. Thanks to Uthappas hitting though, Kolkata never slowed down. His timing was impeccable and he used his feet against Yuzvendra Chahal and Muttiah Muralitharan.

SHAKIB CARNAGE

Shakib Al Hasan (60, 38 balls) provided the late surge. After 14 overs, Kolkata were 117 for three when the carnage began. Shakib took 24 runs off the 15th over, bowled by Chahal, with three sixes and a four to set his team on course for a very imposing total.

Kolkata finished at 195 for four in 20 overs and Bangalore a top-heavy team, did not get their balance right and fell 30 runs short to crash out of the tournament. In the background, a capacity crowd at the Eden Gardens celebrated Kolkatas sixth win on the bounce and their march to the play-offs.