Cricket Article

Lee, Abdulla propel Kolkata to win over Chennai

It was expected to be a tough game between two sides who were perched in the top half of the points table. What added to the difficulty was the rain that delayed the start and more importantly, the pitch, which was rather slow for strokeplay and made life difficult for the batsmen. Unbeaten innings>

So, when the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Super Kings at the end of the rain-interrupted game, on Duckworth-Lewis system, the result sounded a tad unfair and seemed to have robbed the audiences of an exciting finish to the game. To be fair, Kolkata Knight Riders were slightly ahead at that stage but given the way the track had played throughout the innings, it could have still shifted allegiance had the rain not come down. Four overs for eight runs only>

The Super Kings did not help their own cause when they decided to bat first after winning the toss. Now, the golden rule at the toss in a game which has already begun an hour late due to rain and could further be affected by inclement weather and hence by Duckworth-Lewis, is to field first after winning the toss. For some reason beyond the fathomable, the Super Kings decided to continue with their tactic of batting first and that is where they seemed to have lost the game.

The start was so slow that one almost got the sense that the Super Kings openers had been befuddled into believing that the pitch was going to be one run-scoring one. The opening pair of Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay batted for four overs and scored only eight runs before Iqbal Abdulla had Vijay caught and bowled.

Suresh Raina scratched around for eight balls and got four before pulling a short one from Yusuf Pathan into the hands of the mid-wicket, while Hussey followed soon after with a same shot of the bowling of L Balaji.

S Badrinath was the one who could bat with much more aplomb on the pitch but without too much hitting-support at the other end, his 54 only allowed the side to get to 114/4 in the 20 overs.

Eoin Morgan and Jacques Kallis attempted to start off aggressively but R Ashwin had the Englishman bowled in the very second over. Gautam Gambhir tried his best to continue with the momentum and scored a 19-ball 16 while Kallis remained unbeaten on 21 from 23 balls but by the time the captain was out, the side was 33/2 in six.

It was the couple of boundaries that Manoj Tiwary carved out that pulled the side to 61 at the end of the tenth over when the rains came down again. At that point, the Knight Riders needed 52 to win the game.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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