James Fiztpatrick | cricket20
The Kochi Tuskers Kerala registered an impressive 6 run victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders after successfully defending a total of only 132 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Faced with a tricky run chase the Knight Riders never took control of the game as they lost wickets at regular intervals to fall 6 runs short of the Tuskers total.
With the game building towards a tense finish Vinay Kumar held his nerve to bowl the Tuskers to victory with the Knight Riders needing 14 runs from the final over.
The Tuskers themselves had been restricted with the bat thanks to Yusuf Pathan who picked up three wickets to help the Knight Riders restrict the big hitting Tuskers to a total of only 132-7.
The all rounder led the Knight Riders attack with figures of 20-3 to thwart the Tuskers who suffered a mid innings slump after Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan (28-3) tore through the visitor’s top order.
The Knight Riders got their run chase off to the worst possible start losing Jacques Kallis (6), Gautam Gambhir (3) and Manvinder Bisla (16) during the power play overs as the Tuskers fought their way back into the game.
Despite the precarious position Manoj Tiwary and Eoin Morgan found themselves in, the new batsman played a major role in rescuing the the Knight Riders run chase with a 4th wicket partnership of 36.
Looking set at the crease, the pair could have easily steered the home side to victory but the partnership was broken in the 13th over when Morgan was run out by Mahela Jayawardene after Tiwary called for a quick single only to send Morgan back.
Shakib Al Hasan (2) quickly followed before Yusuf Pathan threw away his wicket to leave the Knight Riders 97-6 with just over 4 overs remaining.
Having dispatched Ramesh Powar for a massive six, Pathan tried to repeat the shot from the very next delivery despite Powar changing the angle by coming around the wicket which forced Pathan to top edge a catch to Muttiah Muralitharan in the covers.
With the pressure building Tiwary’s (46) excellent innings was ended by Ravindra Jadeja after the Knight Riders last hope was stumped by Parthiv Patel to leave the home side 101-7.
Brett Lee (1) quickly followed before a spirited fight back from Iqbal Abdulla (12) and Rajat Bhatia (10) fell agonisingly short for the home side.
Having been put into bat the Tuskers got off to a good start thanks to the experienced opening pair of Brendon McCullum and Jayawardene who shared an opening stand of 49 for the visitors.
With the Tuskers looking in control, the game was turned on its head within the space of 7 deliveries as Shakib Al Hasan and then Pathan struck to remove the opening pair.
McCullum (23) was the first to be dismissed when he picked out Eoin Morgan at backward point before Jayawardene (23) was trapped LBW by Pathan to leave the visitors 51-2.
With the break through made the Knight Riders increased their advantage soon after as Brad Hodge (2) and Patel (9) were dismissed in quick fashion by Pathan who took his tally of wicket in the innings to three.
Jadeja gave the visitors hope with a quick fire 29 during a 5th wicket partnership of 35 with Kedar Jadhav (12) but the Tuskers progress was halted by Shakib Al Hasan and Bret Lee who struck within the space of 5 deliveries to end the pairs resistant’s.
Vinay Kumar (11) quickly followed the pair back to the dugout after he became Shakib Al Hasan’s third victim of the game before Lakshmipathy Balaji ended the innings in fine style by conceding just 4 runs from the final over.