Hyderabad: Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey smashed attacking half centuries to power IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders to a formidable 187 for two against struggling Dolphins in an inconsequential Group A match of the Oppo Champions League Twenty20, here today.
With KKR already assured of a semifinal berth after three consecutive wins, the tie was more of a practice game for the Kolkata outfit.
Dolphins, on the other hand, had pride to play for having already crashed out of the tournament after losing all their three earlier matches.
But there was hardly anything to cheer for the South African side as Uthappa and Pandey slaughtered the Dolphins bowlers to all parts of the ground to stitch an unbeaten 153 runs stand off just 15 overs, which is incidentally KKR's record partnership for the third wicket.
While Utahappa blazed his way to a fiery 85 off 55 balls with the help of 13 boundaries, Pandey matched his senior partner stroke for stroke en route his 47-ball 76-run knock which was studded with five fours and five huge sixes.
However, electing to bat, KKR did not have the best of starts as they lost two wickets early with the team score reading just 34 runs.
While skipper Gautam Gambhir (12) was cleaned by Robbie Frylinck (1/29) in the fourth over, new man in Jacques Kallis too was out bowled by Craig Alexander (1/36) in the last ball of the next over after the veteran South Africa started his knock with hit over the fence.
But then Uthappa and Pandey joined hands and produced a some scintillating strokeplay during their unconquered partnership.
Uthappa was the more aggressive among the duo at the start but Pandey used his long handle with great effect and caught up with his partner as the match progressed. He looked the more dangerous towards the fag end of the innings as he dealt in just boundaries and sixes.
In fact, Pandey smashed Kyle Abbott for two boundaries and as many sixes to pick up 22 runs off the 18th over, the highest of the innings.