Gautam Gambhir © IANS (File Photo)
Gautam Gambhir © IANS (File Photo)

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Oct 4, 2014

In an innings where the momentum swung like a pendulum, Kolkata Knight Riders managed to score 180 for six against Chennai Super Kings in the final of the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014. Gautam Gambhir‘s 80 led the way for Kolkata and the star for Chennai was the left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, who recorded a five-wicket haul.

On a good looking surface at Bangalore, MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl first. Chennai were unchanged, whereas Kolkata were forced to make a change as Sunil Narine has been suspended. Pat Cummins, the young Australian quick came into the side.

Robin Uthappa and Gambhir started off very well and picked boundaries at regular intervals. Though they generally ran well, there were a few nervous moments. Chennai weren’t all that good in the field. They missed a few catches, there were misfields and also a few run-outs. It was

 

Gambhir and Uthappa were very good. Both were sensible and picked their opportunities to score. Gambhir gradually moved into his elements and started scoring more freely. Mohit Sharma had a tough time early on as Gambhir picked a few boundaries off him. Uthappa smashed Ravichandran Ashwin for a six over long-on and that was one of the best shots he played.

Though Kolkata were going well at the half-way mark, they lost a bit of momentum in the middle as Uthappa was dismissed for 39. He did become the leading run-scorer in the CLT20 2014, breaking Jonathan Carter’s tally. The ploy to send in Jacques Kallis at No 3 also did not work as he was dismissed for a single. Negi had got both those wickets.

With the momentum fluctuating, there were a few nervous moments for Gambhir, who was past his fifty. On one occasion, he hit to long-on and Faf du Plessis managed to flip it back and take it. However, he had touched the boundary on the first attempt. In 15 overs, Kolkata were 118 for two and needed some impetus. Gambhir and Manish Pandey then smashed 17 off the Dwayne Bravo over.

Ravindra Jadeja came in to dismiss Gambhir for 80 to halt the charge a little. But then Pandey got stuck into Ashish Nehra and smashed him for a couple of sixes and a four. Negi’s good day with the ball continued as he was summoned for the penultimate over. He dismissed Pandey and then got Ryan ten Doeschate for a duck. And then, he completed a five-wicket haul when Suryakumar Yadav reverse-swept one into the hands of short third-man. That over had seen three wickets and only two runs.

Yusuf Pathan made up for that in the last over by smashing two fours and a six, as Nehra made it over 50 for the match.

Brief scores:

Kolkata knight Riders 180 for 6 in 20 overs (Gautam Gambhir 80, Robin Uthappa 39; Pawan Negi 5 for 22) vs Chennai Super Kings.

Full Scorecard

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014