2016 IPL T20 Cricket: Swashbuckling Yusuf powers Kolkata to victory


May 2, 2016

Brief Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders 189 for 5 (Yusuf 60*, Russell 39, Chahal 2-27) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 185 for 7 (Rahul 52, Kohli 52, Morkel 2-28, Chawla 2-32) by five wickets

May 2, 2016

Brief Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders 189 for 5 (Yusuf 60*, Russell 39, Chahal 2-27) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 185 for 7 (Rahul 52, Kohli 52, Morkel 2-28, Chawla 2-32) by five wickets

Yusuf Pathan exults after leading his team to a win, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2016, Bangalore, May 2, 2016 – AFP

BENGALURE – Coming into this match, Royal Challengers Bangalore had a lot going for them – a confident batting unit, a roaring home crowd egging them on after a dismal four-match away run, and the dangerous Chris Gayle back in the side after a short paternity leave.

Their only real concern would probably have been the lacklustre bowling that has led them down on numerous occasions this season of the Indian Premier League. On Monday (May 2) night, it was the bowling that hurt them once again, as Kolkata Knight Riders, riding on a destructive 96-run stand for the fifth wicket between Andre Russell and Yusuf Pathan, left the hosts in a state of shock at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Pathan's unbeaten 60 off 29 deliveries, which included six fours and three sixes, and Russell's 39 off 24, studded with one four and four sixes, sent Bangalore hurtling to their fifth loss in seven games.

Despite all the anticipation, Gayle produced yet another poor performance when Kolkata sent Bangalore in. He smacked Morne Morkel for a straight six in his first over but succumbed to the temptation of repeating the feat next ball, top edging a quicker delivery high up for Robin Uthappa to complete an easy catch.

Virat Kohli walked in amidst loud chants to join local boy KL Rahul in the middle, and for the next 9.4 overs, the crowd was enthralled as the two put on an electric 84-run partnership, which set Bangalore up for a good total.

Rahul was the aggressor in the second-wicket stand, scoring 52 runs off just 32 deliveries to register his third consecutive half-century in the competition. He hit six fours and two sixes before playing a Piyush Chawla delivery into the hands of Pathan at deep cover. It was then up to Kohli and AB de Villiers to keep the pressure on the bowling unit, which by then, had conceded 92 runs off 11 overs with only two batsmen back in the hut.

In his 19 Twenty20 appearances this year, Kohli has registered 40-plus scores on 15 occasions. His 44-ball 52 on the night might not have been the best of those knocks, but it did provide the much-needed anchor to the Bangalore innings.

De Villiers, meanwhile, faltered, falling in the 14th over, and Kohli perished exactly three overs later, giving Kolkata a chance to strengthen their hold over the match. The scoreboard read 129 for 4 at that stage, with just 20 deliveries left.

But Shane Watson (34 in 21 balls) took the onus of entertaining the packed gathering from then on, with some help from Sachin Baby, who was greeted with the “Sachin-Sachin” chant as he walked in and during his cameo (16 in eight balls), and Stuart Binny, who smashed Umesh Yadav for two sixes and a four in the final over for a four-ball 16 to help Bangalore post 185 for 7.

Kolkata's pursuit began with the disappointing loss of in-form batsman Robin Uthappa in the first over, but a 28-run association between Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn kept them going. Yuzvendra Chahal sent Lynn back in the fifth over, bringing Gambhir and Manish Pandey together.

Gambhir's resistance (37 in 29) lasted till the ninth over, and Pandey, who was out for a week and a half before turning out for this match, struggled right through his 12-ball stay at the crease, which yielded just eight runs.

When Pandey departed, Kolkata still needed 117 off 59 deliveries. It looked like it was all over for the visiting side, but then came the monstrous assault from Pathan and Russell.

Though Russell was sent back by Chahal in the 18th over, providing a glimmer of hope for Kohli's men, Suryakumar Yadav, the No. 7 batsman, only had to make sure Pathan had most of the strike from then on, letting the veteran go about his business, and helping Kolkata pull off a remarkable chase.

With the win, Kolkata moved up to No. 2 on the eight-team points table, while Bangalore remained stuck at No. 7.

Courtesy: Wisden India