Knight Riders beat Royal Challengers by 7 wickets

KOLKATA: The Kolkata Knight Riders made light work of the Royal Challengers Bangalore cruising to a 7 wicket victory at Eden Gardens in Kolkata to make it two IPL wins out of two to start the tournament flying .

Faced with a target of just 136 for victory Brad Hodge and Manoj Tiwary’s opening partnership of 101 paved the way for the easy win which underlined the Knight Riders vast improvements this year.

Jacques Kallis scored an important 65 runs to give the Royal Challengers Bangalore a glimmer of hope after their top order suffered a major collapsed to leave the Knight Riders chasing such a low target.

On a batsman friendly wicket Tiwary made up for his first ball duck against the Deccan Chargers smashing 6 fours and 2 sixes on his way to an IPL half century before he was caught by Roelof van der Merwe off his own bowling.

Hodge continued the onslaught scoring his own half century as the Knight Riders reached their total of 136 with 4 balls to spare to leave Royal Challengers skipper Anil Kumble with a lot of work to do ahead of their next game against Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday.

The Royal Challengers got of to a disastrous start losing four early wickets as the top order collapsed in spectacular fashion after being put into bat by Knight Riders skipper Sourav Ganguly.

With Kallis watching on from the non strikers end Shreevats Goswami (8), Manish Pandey (0) and Virat Kohil (2) all departed with out troubling the score to leave last years beaten finalists 20-3.

Eion Morgan’s arrival at the crease was spectacular, playing in his first ever IPL game the young Englishman smashed the second ball he faced from Brad Hodge over long-off for a massive six but he soon departed after attempting an ill-advised reverse sweep..

Morgan misjudged the speed of a Murali Kartik delivery and by the time he had played his short the ball had only just reached him bouncing off his arm onto the wicket to leave the Royal Challengers 35-4.

With the visitors in all sorts of trouble Kallis was joined at the wicket by Indian batsman Rahul Dravid and the pair used their many their years of experience to slowly build a partnership capable of giving their bowlers some sort of target to defend.

The pair, not renowned for their batting speed had built a partnership of 38 before Angelo Matthews struck in the 12th over to claim the wicket of Dravid (21) who unluckily got a thick inside edge and knocked the ball onto his own stumps.

With Dravid gone the Knight Riders were able to pressure the Royal Challengers middle order with Robin Uthappa (20) and van der Merwe (1) both departing cheaply to leave Kallis to bat out the final 3 overs with the tail to reach 135/7.