The Knight Riders suffered a middle-order collapse which haltered their chances of putting up a strong first innings total after winning the toss and electing to bat first.
Kolkata made a confident start with the bat, with skipper Gambhir leading from the front. The left-hander struck two consecutive boundaries off Krishnakant Upadhyay in the second over of the game to get some momentum early on, and got the same result off Wayne Parnell in the next over’s first ball.
On the other end, Manvinder Bisla started off with a boundary off Parnell in the third over, but his stay at the crease was ended by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had him stumped by wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat on the second ball of the sixth over, for 12.
The Knight Riders were soon jolted by the IPL debutant Pravez Rasool, who got Jacques Kallis caught by Angelo Mathews at extra cover for two in the next over.
The spinner from Jammu and Kashmir impressed on his debut with the figures of 4-0-22-1. He had almost bagged his second wicket in the game when a strong appeal for a caught behind against Eoin Morgan was turned down by umpire Sudhir Asnani.
But Morgan’s stay at the crease ended soon when he gave a simple catch to Robin Uthappa at the short fine-leg position, in the next over off Mitchell Marsh. Morgan scored 15 from as many balls.
Meanwhile, Gambhir continued to pick boundaries every now and then and completed his half-century with a single off Marsh in the 14th over — his 20th in IPL — with the help of six boundaries from 44 balls.
With this knock, Gambhir became the first batsman in IPL history to complete as many as 20 half-centuries.
But Marsh rocked the Knight Riders soon in the same over when he got rid of the on-song Gambhir, getting him caught by Angelo Mathews, which left the tourists struggling at 90 for four.
Yusuf Pathan’s disastrous outing for the Knight Riders extended further, when he was caught behind the wickets by Rawat off Bhuvneshwar Kumar for three.
KKR went past the 100-run mark in the 17th over, when Ryan ten Doeschate clobbered Mathews over the midwicket area for a six, and slammed two consecutive boundaries as the tourists added 17 runs from it.
Towards the end, Manoj Tiwary struck a 10-ball 15 not out and Rajat Bhatia smashed a six and a boundary to reach 13 not out off five, as KKR went past thw 150-run mark.
For the Warriors, Bhuvneshwar claimed three for 25 while Marsh impressed with two for seven.
Kolkata Knight Riders 152 for 6 in 20 overs (Gautam Gambhir 50, Ryan ten Doeschate 31; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3 for 25, Mitchell Marsh 2 for 7) vs Pune Warriors India.