Kolkata dump Challengers

Kolkata, May 9:

Kolkata Knight Riders came back to winning ways, defeating Bangalore Royal Challengers by five runs in a pulsating rain-curtailed encounter of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Thursday.

Sourav Ganguly’s side restricted Royal Challengers to 124-4 after posting 129-7 in 16 overs.

J Arun Kumar (22) and Shivnaraine Chanderpaul (7) gave a good start to Royal Challengers’ run chase putting on 17 runs. However, a sensational direct hit from Brad Hodge cut short Arun Kumar’s innings to bring the match at even terms at 33-2 in 4.5 overs.

Royal Challengers’ captain Rahul Dravid (5) and Mark Boucher (50) then shared 19 runs for the fourth wicket before Ganguly cleaned his counterpart to reel the visitors at 51-3 in 9.1 overs.

Cameron White (30) also accelerated run chase. Needing 62 off 30 balls, both Boucher and White picked up 15 runs in the 13th over. It was followed by a brilliant over by Ishant Sharma who gave five runs. Needing 19 off the last over, Boucher fought a lonely battle and hit Ishant for a boundary in the first ball. That was all he could manage. Ganguly was adjudged the man of the match for his excellent bowling. He gave up just seven runs in his three overs.

Earlier, Royal Challengers restricting the Knight Riders to 129-7. Knight Riders’ top order once again faltered. Ganguly (20) and David Hussey (26) shared a 26-run stand for the fourth wicket, but two crucial run-outs and some disciplined work on the field from Challengers eventually led to their downfall.

However, the hosts’ lower middle order saved the day for them. Debutant Tatenda Taibu (15), Wriddhiman Saha (unbeaten 17) and Kartik (17) made some valuable contributions down the order to set a challenging target before Royal Challengers.