Knight Riders win rain-hit encounter Y.B. SARANGI
Kolkata Knight Riders benefited from its spinners' good work and rain to post a win over Rising Pune Supergiants in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.
After the home team's spinners restricted Supergiants to 103 for six in 17.4 overs, rain stopped play. When play resumed, KKR needed to score 66 off nine overs, but it finished the match in just five.
Even after losing the toss for the third time in a row, KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir was delighted to see everything go according to his plans.
Andre Russell again provided an early breakthrough by removing dangerman Ajinkya Rahane, who inside-edged a delivery on to his stumps in the third over.
Morne Morkel paid the price for bowling a little short but Shakib Al Hasan, coming in the fifth over, showed his excellent control and scalped the in-form Usman Khawaja (21) in his first over.
Shakib’s variation in flight and angle kept the RPS batsmen guessing and denied them any leeway. George Bailey (33 off 27) — who played some excellent off-drives and stepped out to lift Shakib for a straight six — combined with Saurabh Tiwary to build a 41-run stand and provide some optimism to the RPS camp.
When RPS was nicely poised at 63 for two after nine overs and looked to accelerate its run rate, KKR bowlers struck in quick succession to retard the visitors' progress.
Ankit Rajpoot, bowling a tight line, picked up Saurabh Tiwary and Piyush Chawala bambozoled Bailey with his leg-spin.
KKR spinners Chawla and Narine, the latter returning to action after missing two matches due to a finger injury, bowled in tandem and stifled the batsmen.
The spinning duo conceded only 33 runs in about eight overs as RPS lost three wickets during the period.