Knight Riders restrict toiling Warriors
The Kolkata Knight Riders strengthened their chances of a place in the IPL play offs after they restricted the Pune Warriors to a total of just 118-7 after a fine bowling performance at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai.
With nothing to play for in their final home game the Warriors looked like a team ready for the tournament to end after the struggled with the bat against a Knight Riders team still on contention for a place in the play offs.
At no point in the innings were the Warriors allowed to take control the game thanks to impressive bowling performances from Shakib Al Hasan (16-2) Yusuf Pathan (23-2) and Iqbal Al Hasan (12-1).
The trio restricted the Warriors top order by picking up wickets at regular intervals to slow the home sideís innings down on a wicket which favoured the Knight Riders spinners.
Not even the presence of Sourav Ganguly could spark the Warriors into life; the former Knight Riders skipper struggled with the bat once again, scoring 18 runs from 22 balls before he was dismissed by Pathan in the 13th over.
With the exception of one six off the bowling of Iqbal Al Hasan, Ganguly looked like a man who hadnít played competitive cricket in almost a year to highlight why the Knight Riders snubbed in at the player auctions in January.
Yuvraj Singh (24) and Sachin Rana (18), playing in his first game of the tournament, gave the Warriors some hope with a 6th wicket stand of 34 but even this wasnít enough to give the home side the momentum going into the Knight Riders innings.
The Warriors got off to a poor start, losing Jessie Ryder and Manish Pandey inside the first 4 overs to give the Knight Riders the upper hand in a must win game for the visitors
They were helped out initially by Ryder (1) who threw away his wicket after he scoped Yusuf Pathanís 2nd delivery of the match down to Manoj Tiwary at long off who took the simplest of catches.
Pandey (16) quickly followed after he was trapped LBW by Iqbal Abdulla who picked up his 15th wicket of the tournament in the 4th over to leave the Warriors 17-2.
Callum Ferguson (16) and Robin Uthappa (12) quickly followed as the Knight Riders increased the pressure on a Warriors team which had nothing to play for, to leave the visitors facing a run chase of 119.