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By Abhijit Banare
Apr 24, 2014
After an intense drama for 40 overs, all it took was one sensational catch to turn a losing match in to a surprise win. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) stole a two-run win as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) messed up and choked in chase of 151 in the 11th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. Needing nine in the last over, Chris Lynn took a blinder in the deep to dismiss AB de Villiers which saw the match swing in a matter of seconds. Bangalore where in control of the match for 39 overs of the match until the last over mess-up.
It was one of those old Sharjah wicket, shiny and flat with plenty of runs on offer. On such a relatively easy wicket. Kolkata had squandered crucial opportunities after being put in to bat by Bangalore. Lynn and Jacques Kallis helped them post a modest 150 for seven.
Kolkata started their defense with two fast bowlers, Umesh Yadav and Morne Morkel bowling consistently at over 140kphs. Morkel almost touched 150 on one occasion. It helped the opening pair of Parthiv Patel and Yogesh Takawale. Both the batsmen weren’t power-hitters and the pace helped the immensely. Parthiv started off the chase with a cut shot past point for four. But it was Takawale who was a revelation. The right-hander took his chance against a pacey Morkel. In the last over of the powerplay, he hit three boundaries which included edges flying towards the fence as well.
The duo completed the fifty-run stand in the seventh over. With Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh to come, this was more than a dream start. It seemed as though the pacers were forcing things to move quickly to their own disadvantage. It was the introduction of Jacques Kallis which worked for Kolkata. Though he was hit for a boundary, Kallis kept his length full and straight. Takawale trying to work the ball away on the leg again was struck plumb in front. Takawale’s 40 from 28 balls helped Bangalore pocket the momentum early on. With the majority of Sunil Narine overs yet to come, it was something Bangalore would have planned for. The opening stand lasted for 67 runs. Parthiv too was dismissed soon after in the next over with the leading edge caught by Chris Lynn.
Kolkata clawed their way back with some tight overs, but Kohli was never the one to let go off control in a run-chase. There was an intense phase in the middle when Morkel tested Yuvraj with some short deliveries and as expected the southpaw struggled to fend it off. But a similar ploy from Umesh in the next over proved costly as Yuvraj regained ground with a pull shot for six. And the pacer committed a crime by delivering a short ball to Kohli as well. Since there was not a gigantic target to chase, every boundary eased the pressure.
Kohli was soon at his usual best stroking the boundaries at will. The two deft touch for boundaries in the 13th over showed how casual Kohli appears in any run-chase. And any remaining pressure on Yuvraj too persihed as he smartly looked for the singles and twos, allowing Kohli to be more aggressive. On some other day, Yuvraj would have stumbled trying to score off Narine, but the situation allowed him to play orthodox shots in the gaps. Gambhir had also used up Morkel at the start.
When it looked the duo will cruise to the target, Narine produced a brilliant delivery to breach Kohli’s defence. The Bangalore skipper departed only to see the entry of AB de Villiers. There was a brief period after that which saw Yuvraj struggling and the required rate rising a bit but De Villiers was always going to make it look easy.
Needing 18 in the last two, De Villiers hit a boundary. But Yuvraj’s struggle meant the target was down to nine in the last with the southpaw dismissed for 31. After a single each on the first three deliveries of the Vinay Kumar over, De Villiers then skied which looked set to be caught Lynn in the deep. But teh fielder slipped, and when he was about to regain ground, he managed to control the catch falling inches inside the fence. With a boundary needed on the last ball, Albie Morkel failed to capitalise on a full-toss and the Kolkata team barely realised that they pocketed a losing match. A frustrated Kohli admitted that it was Bangalore’s match to lose than Kolkata winning it. In hindsight, the 33-ball 31 from Yuvraj would come under scanner as a comfortable chase turned in to a nightmare for Bangalore.
Despite the nervous win, Kolkata’s biggest worry now will be the form of Gambhir who has registered three ducks in a row. The bright spot of the match was Lynn though. The Brisbane batsman who replaced Shakib Al Hasan scored briskly at the start which allowed KKR to overcome the loss of two quick wickets and that catch in the end turned out to be ore precious than his batting. Kallis once again was impressive with his all-round performance scoring a solid 43 and then conceding 26 in his four overs.
Kolkata Knight Riders 150 for 7 in 20 overs (Jacques Kallis 43, Chris Lynn 45; Varun Aaron 3 for 16, Yuzvendra Chahal 1 for 26) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 148 for 5 in 20 overs (Yogesh Takawale 40, Virat Kohli 31; Sunil Narine 1 for 17, Jacques Kallis 1 for 26) by 2 runs.
Man of the Match: Chris Lynn
(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)
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