Yusuf Pathan © AFP
Yusuf Pathan obliterated the RPS bowling © AFP

Ravichandran Ashwin took 2 wickets in the first over of the chase, but Yusuf Pathan single-handedly took Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to an 8-wicket win against Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in Match 45 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Ashwin ought to have had Yusuf LBW for a first-ball duck, but the umpire ruled in the batsman’s favour. That was all the luck Yusuf, and KKR, needed. Ashwin bowled a potentially game-changing over to start with, taking out Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa to reduce KKR to 8 for 2. Uthappa was stumped off a wide ball by MS Dhoni off Ashwin for 4, and Gambhir was LBW for a first-ball duck. Yusuf ought to have suffered the same fate, but survived. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rising Pune Supergiants, IPL 2016, Match 45 at Kolkata

Ashok Dinda conceded 13 off the next over, which tilted the game in KKR’s favour. With 44 needed off 42 balls on a turning surface and Ashwin bowling wonderfully, the match was still open. Yusuf then killed the match in the very next over, bowled by Ashwin. The first ball was sent for six, as was the fourth. The fifth and sixth deliveries were hit for fours. With 22 runs coming off the over, there was no concievable way RPS would possibly have won. Yusuf ended up blazing his way to 37 not out off 18 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes. Manish Pandey remained unbeaten on 15 off 10 balls with 1 boundary. FULL CRICKET BLOG: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rising Pune Supergiants, IPL 2016, Match 45 at Kolkata

KKRwere off the mark against RPS with their spin attack restricting them to 103 for 6 in 17.4 overs in Match 45 of IPL 2016 at slower pitch of Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Piyush Chawla reigned with 2 for 21 figures at end of 4 overs while Sunil Narine, who was called back this must-win match was also economical with his innings. RPS struggled to get the right break through especially with early wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and Usman Khawaja, that were picked by Andre Russell and Shakib Al Hasan respectively. Skipper MS Dhoni was amidst confusions with wickets tumbling and ultimately the rains getting the better of RPS.

Rahane was gone too soon as he was dismissed in 2.3 overs by Andre Russell bowling him out 2 off 6. Khawaja was playing around with googlies thrown by Shakib initially. Just then when Khawaja had picked up the pace in the game, he was bolstered out for 21 off 17 by Shakib. George Bailey complimented Khawaja until they were on crease. In the 11th over Chawla was called for his first over and this time without much delay, he got the better of Bailey and was gone for 33 off 27 that included 3-fours. Ankit Rajpoot who made his debut in KKR also proved to be fruitful gaining an important wicket of Saurabh Tiwary with immediate effect. The pitch seemed like it belonged to the spinners.

Interesting factor was Irfan Pathan was called top the order right after Bailey was removed. When Towary was gone, Dhoni entered the crease along with Pathan. Slight tension between the two Indian batsmen came into picture. The KKR bowlers had already frustrated the batsmen enough and Dhoni played the ball to point. He wanted a quick single, but Irfan was slow to get off the blocks. Dhoni lost his cool and yelled at Pathan, who then ran to the other side and sacrificed his wicket for his skipper. It was a run out by Robin Utthapa and Chawla combined.

Another interesting point was when KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir called in all the fielders together to stop Dhoni from gaining any run.  By then the breeze and drizzle had caught up at Eden Gardens. But Dhoni being himself took up a cautious route keeping him self safe from all the hassles. Even the spin attack could not bring Dhoni down. Dhoni was facing the plight of wickets falling off at the non strikers end and he was the only one almost to survive, until rains decided to play a spoil sport and interrupt the play.

Earlier, RPS won the toss and elected to bat first. Dhoni made two changes to his side getting Irfan and Murugan Ashwin back replacing Rajat Bhatia and RP Singh. As for KKR, Narine was back for Brad Hogg and Rajpoot made his debut replacing Umesh Yadav.

Brief scores:

Rising Pune Supergiants 103 for 6 in 17.4 overs (Usman Khawaja 21, George Bailey 33; Piyush Chawla 2 for 21) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 66 for 2 in 5 overs (Yusuf Pathan 37*; Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 30) by 8 wickets.

Man of the Match: Yusuf Pathan

Full Scorecard