BANGALORE: Frustrated by a couple of bad starts to the tournament, Kolkata came fully-equipped to clip high-flying Bangalore’s wings, snatching an easy 42-run victory in their Indian Premier League clash at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Tuesday.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir’s sublime 64, Manvinder Bisla’s 29-ball 46 and Man of the Match Laxmipathy Balaji’s four-wicket haul proved just a bit too much for Bangalore. Jaques Kallis too came back to haunt his old side, playing a decisive role for Kolkata both with the bat and the ball. The South African scored a handy 22 and claimed two crucial wickets.
Chasing 165, Bangalore’s batting order came a cropper against Kolkata’s pace attack and managed only 123/9 in 20 overs. Bangalore’s openers Cheteshwar Pujara (6) and Chris Gayle (2) fell early. Virat Kohli was quick to walk back to the dressing room too, scoring just six runs. AB de Villiers failed to continue his good form as the team struggled to 50 in the first ten overs.
After Kallis had taken care of openers Gayle and Pujara, Balaji cleaned up the top order scalping Kohli, De Villiers, Mayank Agarwal and skipper Daniel Vettori to leave Bangalore high and dry.
Earlier, after being put in to bat, Kolkata were on the offensive immediately with Kallis and Gambhir making a mockery of the Bangalore bowlers. Unable to control the run flow, Bangalore introduced spin as early on as the sixth over with Muttiah Muralitharan taking charge. The Lankan, more used to coming on after the Power Play, was given a hostile reception by Kallis, who executed a fine sweep shot to the square-leg boundary. Gambhir got in on the act too, smashing Muralitharan through the covers as the Lankan gave away 13 runs in his first over.
Bangalore’s plan to go with the spinners early on did pay off as Vettori removed Kallis, who edged the ball to De Villiers behind the stumps. By then, the opening pair had already stitched together 60 runs off 38 balls. The assault on Bangalore’s bowling didn’t end there. Manvinder Bisla joined Gambhir in the middle and suddenly Kolkata looked more formidable.
Brief scores: Kolkata 165 for 8 (G Gambhir 64, M Bisla 46, R Vinay Kumar 2-18) beat Banglaore 123 FOR 9 (D Vettori 20, L Balaji 4-18) by 42 runs.