x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Kolkata captain Gambhir draws praise from Vettori

Gayle's heroics in vain for Bangalore as Kolkata top-order makes sloppy fielders pay on a good wicket. Round-up

Gautam Gambhir led from the front for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Gautam Gambhir led from the front for Kolkata Knight Riders.

Kolkata Knight Riders claimed their fifth win of the Indian Premier League season with a comprehensive 47-run defeat of Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Kolkata's top three all struck form as they posted 190 for four, while Chris Gayle was unable to find enough support to mount a serious challenge in response.

Gautam Gambhir top-scored with 93 after winning the toss, facing 51 deliveries and scoring nine fours and five sixes.

He shared an opening stand of 95 with Brendon McCullum, who made 43, and was then supported by Jacques Kallis, who cleared the ropes three times in his 41.

"It was just one of the days when things go right, the way the pair of Kallis and McCullum batted was simply superb," Gambhir, the Kolkata captain said. "And then we bowled well as well. If the team batting first can get to 190, it just shows that the wicket was really good. Credit to the entire team the way they played."

Bangalore were sloppy in the field and their response was built only around Gayle, who started relatively slowly but started flaying the bowlers later. He finished with 86 from 58 balls, with seven fours and six maximums but nobody else reached 20 as the required rate spiralled out of control.

Daniel Vettori, the Bangalore captain, said: "We can always look back at the dropped catches but you also look back at the innings Gambhir played and doff your hats off. We now go home for a week, two vital games coming up and will want to win those two matches."

In the first game, Azhar Mahmood's three-wicket haul and Mandeep Singh's half-century revived Kings XI Punjab's campaign as they scored a seven-run win over Chennai Super Kings.

Having set Chennai a victory target of just 157 after a late batting collapse, Punjab managed to restrict the hosts to 149 for eight.

Mahmood's removal of both Chennai openers was the cornerstone of the victory, though Mandeep Singh's 56 was considered by the adjudicators as more important enough to give him the man of the match.

The veteran all-rounder Mahmood has accounted for Faf du Plessis (29) and Subramaniam Badrinath (25) after the pair had earlier raced away to a 49-run partnership inside six overs. He also scored 18 runs inviting praise from the injured captain Adam Gilchrist.

"He has been impressive with his whole approach and the attitude," Gilchrist said. "He is level-headed and wants to share it with others on the field as well as off it. He certainly has made a nice, little impact for us.

"It's a shame that he couldn't convert that into a big knock, but these are the sort of small moments of impact. It definitely gave us the impetus, and he has been dying to get into the top order.".

Dwayne Bravo's 30 was the only other score of note for Chennai, for whom defeat was sealed just five deliveries after Mahmood (three for 25) had claimed his final victim - Albie Morkel for eight.

Earlier, opener Singh set Punjab on their way. He was supported by Shaun Marsh's 32 and scores in the high teens by Mahmood and David Miller.

* Compiled by The National staff with agencies