IPL 2014 Match 1: Kallis and Narine kick off Kolkata’s IPL campaign in style

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Kallis was named Man of the Match for his spectacular knock

South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis smashed a superb half-century and West Indies spinner Sunil Narine picked up four wickets in quick succession to flatten the Mumbai Indians, who are the defending champions, by 41 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Kallis and Narine were well supported by batsman Manish Pandey, who also scored a brilliant half-century.

Sri Lanka pace bowler Lasith Malinga was the standout performer for Mumbai as he snapped up four wickets.

Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir would have been regretting his decision to bat first as he himself was clean bowled by Malinga for a duck.

Kallis and Pandey made up for the early loss of Gambhir with an impressive 131-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Pandey also had his stumps shattered by Malinga for 64 off 53 balls, which included six boundaries and two sixes.

Robin Uthappa failed to have an impact as he was caught by Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma off the bowling of Zaheer Khan for only one run.

Kallis went on to make 72 off 46 deliveries, which included five boundaries and three sixes, before he was brilliantly caught by Corey Anderson at long-off off the bowling of Malinga.

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan only made one run before he was caught by Sharma at cover to become Malinga’s fourth victim of the match.

Thanks to Kallis and Pandey, the Knight Riders managed to reach 163 at the end of their 20 overs.

Malinga was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Khan chipped in with one.

Chasing 164 to win, the Indians got off to a horrible start as former Australia batsman Michael Hussey was clean bowled by Sunil Narine for just three runs.

Aditya Tare managed to score 24 runs before he was caught and bowled by Al Hasan.

Sharma and Ambati Rayudu stabilised the innings with a 61-run partnership before Sharma was caught by Kallis at midwicket off the bowling of Morne Morkel for 27.

Rayudu ended up making 48 off 40 balls, which included four boundaries, before he was stumped by Uthappa off the bowling of Narine.

Following Rayudu’s dismissal, Narine ripped through the rest of Mumbai’s middle and lower order and the Indians eventually finished on 122/7 at the end of their 20 overs, leaving them 41 runs short of their target.

Narine was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Morkel, Al Hasan and Piyush Chawla picked up one wicket apiece.

Sharma was embarrassed by his team’s performance, and said: “Disappointing, first game of the season. Lots to learn from this game. We will take the positives from this game, although there weren’t many. I hope the guys stay positive and enjoy each other’s company. It’s a long tournament. 

They batted really well, we didn’t get a wicket when we wanted and they knew with eight wickets in hand they [could go] after the bowling. We tried our best, Malinga bowled really well and I hope the guys can turn it around as quickly as possible. Fair bit of grass on the wicket, there was a bit of bounce. Odd balls were stopping and coming so it wasn’t true. It played well but we didn’t bat well. Still 13 more games and I hope we come back strongly.”

Gambhir was pleased to have got Kolkata’s IPL season off to a strong start, and said: “We’ve got a very good bowling attack and if we put runs on the board most of the times we’ll end up winning. A quality batter like Kallis knows when to accelerate and if either me or him stays till the 15th over we’ll get a good score. We have Morne’s pace and Narine and Chawla in the spin department and Vinay’s pretty good at the death as well.”

Kallis was named Man of the Match, and said: “Had a good few months off. Nice to catch up with friends and family, but I worked hard on my cricket to help Kolkata this season. There was more bounce this season which suited. Kept the good balls out at the start and cashed it in at the death. Morne started great with the ball and Narine was brilliant as well. I probably haven’t got too many years left and I’m just looking forward to having some fun in the middle.”

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