KKR tame Supergiants by 8 wickets in rain-curtailed tie

Kolkata: Chasing a revised target of 66 in 9 overs via the Duckworth-Lewis method, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) cruised home with 8 wickets and 24 balls to spare against Rising Pune Supergiants in a rain-affected Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday. Earlier, rain had halted play with the Supergiants struggling at 103/6 in 17.4 overs. With the win KKR go second on the points table with 7 wins from 10 games, while Pune stay at the bottom. For the Knights Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey remained unbeaten on 37 and 15 runs respectively. The hosts had a disastrous start to their run-hunt with Gautam Gambhir (0) and Robin Uthappa(4) both falling prey to Ravichandran Ashwin in the first over with the score reading 8-2. However, Pandey and Pathan were unfazed by the situation and started off on the highest gear. Pandey first plundered 13 runs of the second over and then Pathan followed it up with a massive 22-run over against Ravichandran. Murugan Ashwin too faced the wrath of Pathan as he belted him for a boundary and then a huge six down the ground in the 4th over. In the first innings, from the outset, the Knights were able to make early inroads into the Supergiants unit even though they had elected to bat. First to depart was Ajinkya Rahane (2) who tried a wild slog and lost his wicket in the process. Next to head back to the dug out was Australian batsmen Usman Khawaja whose sweep was gobbled up by Suryakumar Yadav at the deep square leg boundary. In between there were a few hits which travelled to the ropes and after six overs, Pune were placed at 37/2. Thereafter, Bailey and Saurabh Tiwary slowly but steadily tried to stitch a stand, pinching the ones and twos and clubbing the occasional boundaries. However, debutant Ankit Rajpoot broke the 41-run partnership as Tiwary edged one through to wicket-keeper Robin Uthappa in the 10th over. Chawla then deceived Bailey (33) with a flighted legspinner as Uthappa whipped the bails off in a flash. It was a hostile welcome given by KKR to rival captain Dhoni as his counterpart Gautam Gambhir surrounded him with men around the bat, a sight not often seen in T20 cricket. The ploy almost worked for the home side as Dhoni nearly played one onto his stumps. Runs came in singles as KKR further tightened their grip on proceedings. Thereafter Irfan Pathan fell short of his crease as Dhoni called for a cheeky run. The 100 finally came up in the 17th over as Thisara Perera lofted Chawla into the stands, but the very next ball he was out holed out at long on. Brief Scores: Rising Pune Supergiants: 103/6 in 17.4 (George Bailey 33; Piyush Chawla 2/21) vs Kolkata Knight Riders: 66/2 (Yusuf Pathan 37; Ravichandran Ashwin 2/30)