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Knight Riders win rain effected game

The Kolkata Knight Riders battled against the weather to beat the Bangalore Royal Challengers by 5 runs in a rain shortened game at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Kolkata Knight Riders beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by five runs in a rain-truncated Indian Premier League match at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.

The win stemmed the run of four straight defeats that the Kolkata team suffered after chalking up two wins in their opening two matches.

Bangalore's defeat, meanwhile, was their sixth in eight matches in the competition and their second against Kolkata, after the inaugural match loss on April 18. They continue to occupy the bottom-place in the table.

Chasing 130 to win off 16 overs, the Bangalore team looked anything but confident early on in their innings.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul (7) was the first to go, caught by Murali Kartik off Ishant Sharma. Opener J Arunkumar created a flutter with a 17-ball 22, that included five boundaries, but wasn't allowed to prosper.

And when captain Rahul Dravid (5) exposed his leg stumps to his opposite number, Bangalore were tottering at 51 for three off 9.1 overs.

To give credit where it is due, the Kolkata bowlers were impressive throughout the Bangalore innings and reined in their rivals in an effective manner.

However, Cameron White (30) and Mark Boucher (50 not out) combined aggression with caution and slowly but steadily gave the Bangalore team a much-needed momentum with a 45-run fourth-wicket partnership in just five overs.

White, whose 16-ball knock included three fours and a six, was run out in a rather unfortunate manner in the first bowl of the penultimate over.

Needing 19 runs off the last over, bowled by Sharma, Boucher hit a boundary off the first ball, failed to score in the second, got two runs each in the third and fourth balls, a single in the fifth (that helped him reach fifty) and Praveen Kumar hit a four of the final ball.

But it was still not enough, five runs short to be precise. Bangalore ended up at 124 for four.

Earlier, the Kolkata Knight Riders rode on useful late order contributions after a shaky start to reach 129 for seven in their rain-truncated quota of 16 overs.

Electing to bat after the nor-wester-triggered rains delayed the start of the contest at the Eden Gardens, the Knight Riders lost wickets at regular intervals while the Challengers fielded brilliantly to effect a couple of run outs.

For the visitors, South African pacer Dale Steyn (3/27) was the most successful bowler.

The Knight Riders' opening blues continued as they lost both the openers within the first four overs. Aakash Chopra (2) making his debut in the IPL, returned without making much of an impact when he was beaten by the pace of an incoming Steyn delivery and was wrapped plumb in front of the wicket.

The other opener, Brad Hodge (10) hit a couple of delightful boundaries but played an atrocious hook to be caught at long leg off Zaheer Khan .

Sourav Ganguly's runless streak continued, as he failed to build upon a promising start, becoming the victim of abrilliant piece of fielding by Cameron White at short cover.

Ganguly (20 off 22 balls) played to short cover and set off for a run, but White collected the ball in a flash and threw at the stumps at the bowler's end with the left hander clearly short of the crease.

The Knight Riders reached 49 for 3 at the half-way stage and Hussey decided to have a go at Kumble, lofting the veteran leggie over the ropes for two back-to-back sixes as the around 50 thousand crowd erupted in wild jubilation.

But the Australian's 26-run cameo off 12 balls came to an end soon as he turned Kumble to fine leg and went for a second run. But Steyn sent down a brilliant throw for Mark Boucher to complete the formalities.

The hosts were 64 for 4 at the end of the ninth over and Zimbabwean Tatenda Taibu, making his debut in IPL, came in to play some entertaining strokes.

The pint-sized Taibu (15) picked up a couple of boundaries of Vinay Kumar in the 10th over, but got out a little later while trying to hook Steyn. Boucher ran a long way to his left to take the catch.

Laxmi Ratan Shukla (12) failed to contribute much with the bat and dragged the ball onto his stumps. But Wriddhiman Saha (17 not out off 10 balls) and Murali Kartik (17 off 13 balls) stitched together an invaluable 34-run seventh wicket stand before the latter was caught by Praveen Kumar of his own bowling.

Umar Gul (6 not out) then hit Praveen for a six over long of as the innings came to a close.

source - rediff.com
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