Kolkata, Apr 11: Jacques Kallis struck his second consecutive half-century as Kolkata Knight Riders produced an all-round performance to beat Deccan Chargers by nine runs in an Indian Premier League match at the Eden Gardens here today.
Kallis (53 off 45 balls) was the mainstay of Knight Riders innings before Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan provided the late surge to guide the home team to a challenging 163 for
four after they opted to bat.
In reply, Knight Riders were sharp in the field while their bowling was equally tidy with leg-spinner Iqbal Abdulla (3/24) leading the attack to restrict Deccan to 154 for eight.
Medium pacers Rajat Bhatia (2/29) and Jaidev Unadkat (2/37) complemented Abdulla well to help Knight Riders register their first win in the fourth edition of the Twenty20
With his second consecutive fifty, Kallis became the highest scorer in the tournament with 107 runs to wear the purple cap. The veteran South African all-rounder also stole
the show in the field with four catches.
Desperate for a win after their shocking two-run loss to Chennai Super Kings in their tournament opener, Knight Riders showed urgency on the field after left-arm spinner Abdulla provided them a fine start with a tidy opening spell of 2-0-7-1.
Abdulla bowled Ishank Jaggi and then a superb direct hit at the stumps by Eoin Morgan from extra cover had Deccan reeling at 15 for two after 3.2 overs.
Bharat Chipli played a chancy innings and survived two dropped chances on 4 and 11 before going on to score 48 off 40 balls.
Chipli got his first life when Ryan ten Doeschate and Bhatia, running for the same catch, made a mess of the opportunity as they collided with each.
And then in the next over, Gambhir spilled a difficult chance off Chipli.
However, Bhatia brought an end to Chipli's chancy knock as deccan slumped to 88 for five after 14 overs.
Daniel Christian (25 from 13 balls, 1x4, 2x6) gave Deccan some hope but it vanished soon when Abdulla dismissed the Australian all-rounder to register his third scalp of the day.
From there on, Deccan kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and ultimately the Knight Riders score proved too much for the visitors to overwhelm.
Earlier opting to bat, Kallis (53 off 45) and Manvinder Bisla (19) gave a solid start to the Knight Riders innings with a 51-run opening partnership.
Kallis was at his destructive best as he hit seven fours and a lone six to notch up his second fifty in as many matches in the tournament.
After Kallis' show, Manoj Tiwary played a special unbeaten knock of 30 from 21 balls during which struck two boundaries and as many sixes.
Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir (29 off 18) also played a good hand while Yusuf Pathan produced a nice 15-ball 22-run cameo towards the end to provide the late surge for the hosts, who piled up 45 runs in the last five overs.
For Deccan leg-spinner Amit Mishra impressed with figures of four for 19, including the prized scalp of Gambhir.
Playing their first home match without former India captain and local hero Sourav Ganguly, the Knight Riders started the proceedings in an attacking manner in front of a
half-filled Eden Gardens.
Kallis clobbered his South African teammate Dale Steyn for two fours in the very first over of the innings.
To add to Deccan's misery, Bisla was dropped on five by Ishant Sharma at third man from Steyn's bowling.
While bowling Ishant was expensive today, giving away 27 runs from his spell of three overs as Knight Riders raced to 34 for no loss in five overs.
Introduction of spin from the sixth over brought down the run rate as Mishra was successful in breaking the opening partnership, trapping Bisla for 19.
Mishra gave away three runs from his first over, while Pragyan Ojha too was tidy as the duo managed to stem the Knight Riders run flow.
But poor fielding did not help Deccan's cause as an attacking Kallis ensured that the Knight Riders remained on course for a challenging total.
Sangakkara brought on JP Duminy in the 13th over that yielded the surprise wicket of Kallis.
In no mood to relent against his South African teammate,Kallis pulled one over midwicket for a six but only to be holed out to Shikhar Dhawan in the next ball.
Coming at number three, Gambhir was watchful to start with but later in Tiwary's company the duo played attacking shots to up the run rate.
Aided by some sloppy fielding, the duo scored in excess of 10 an over as they raced to 118 for two in 15 overs.
Looking to play inside out, Gambhir was bowled by Mishra to put brakes on the 43-run third-wicket partnership that came off just 26 balls.
Pathan then joined Tiwary and took Steyn's for a ride,hitting the pacer for three boundaries before getting out in the last ball of the innings. PTI