IPL 2014 Match 49: Uthappa helps Kolkata earn playoffs spot

Uthappa was named Man of the Match for his unbeaten 83

Uthappa was named Man of the Match for his unbeaten 83

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Kolkata Knight Riders opening batsman Robin Uthappa hammered yet another half-century to help his side not only crush the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 30 runs, but also earn them a spot in the playoffs.

Uthappa was brilliantly supported by Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who also smashed a half-century, and West Indies spinner Sunil Narine, who took four key wickets.

Bangalore captain Virat Kohli would have been beaming from ear to ear with his decision to bowl first after Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir was caught behind off the bowling of Mitchell Starc for just four runs.

Manish Pandey only made 13 runs before he was caught by Starc at third man off the bowling of Ashok Dinda.

Yusuf Pathan managed to make 22 runs before he was run out by Kohli.

Al Hasan and Uthappa stabilised the innings with a 121-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Al Hasan was clean bowled by Abu Nechim for 60 off 38 balls, which included five boundaries and three sixes.

Al Hasan walloped five boundaries and three sixes during his knock of 60

Al Hasan walloped five boundaries and three sixes during his knock of 60

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Uthappa ended up making 83 off 51 deliveries, which included 10 boundaries and a six, as Kolkata finished on 195/4 off their 20 overs.

Starc, Dinda and Nechim picked up one wicket apiece.

Chasing 196 to win, Bangalore got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Chris Gayle was given out lbw off the bowling of Umesh Yadav for six runs.

Kohli and Yogesh Takawale made up for the early loss of Gayle with an 85-run partnership before Kohli was caught by Morne Morkel at third man off the bowling of Narine for 38.

Narine struck again just three balls later when he clean bowled Takawale for 45 off 36 deliveries, which included five boundaries and a six.

Narine took two more wickets in the 17th over as well when Yuvraj Singh was caught by Vinay Kumar at long-on for 22 runs and AB de Villiers had his stumps shattered on 13.

Narine dismissed Takawale, Kohli, Singh and de Villiers

Narine dismissed Takawale, Kohli, Singh and de Villiers

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Despite an unbeaten 32-run partnership between Sachin Rana and Starc, Bangalore lost the match by 30 runs.

Narine was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Yadav claimed one.

Kohli was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “When we were batting, the difference after 12 overs was only ten runs. But after that, they took off, they scored about 90 in the last eight. That is one area where we have been lacking in the past few games. That has cost us badly in this tournament. In T20, the side that bowls better ends up being on the right side of the result. Tonight was another case where KKR bowled better than us and you saw the result in the end.

“(Robin) is batting well but it is important to make him hit in the areas we want him to rather than just giving him balls to hit. It was more like he was given balls in the areas in which he wanted to hit rather than making him think about what he should do and the bowler being smarter than the batsman. All credit to him, he has been playing well and hitting the ball well.

“We have not been consistent in the crucial moments, I have said this before as well. [We] Have not maintained our composure too much in those crunch situations. It is up to the individuals to learn from that and come back stronger. But we have not been able to do that. We started off well today as well. Twenty-odd runs in four overs and two wickets and we just could not capitalise on it. We gave away the momentum again.”

Gambhir was pleased with his team’s performance, and said: “The way Robin and Shakib set it up for us was brilliant. Chasing 195 on this pitch is always tough and we always knew we had the bowlers to defend. On this wicket, it gets tough with Sunil and Morne in our ranks.”

Uthappa was named Man of the Match, and said: “It is a great wicket and I enjoy playing here. Feels good to be contributing. I have got my plans worked out as far as opening is concerned. It is like bread and butter for me. The pitch was stopping a bit more. Shots on the rise were not conducive. When Shakib came in, I knew if I rotated the strike, we could get big runs in the end. I did not look at the scoreboard, I just kept batting. Really glad to have Shakib at the other end. I knew I just needed to feed him the strike, he was going hammer and tongs at the spinners in the middle overs.”


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