CLT20 Desk in Mumbai
Match Report: M16 - Kolkata Knight Riders vs Titans
KKR finish CLT20 campaign with a resounding 99-run win
After being put in to bat first, Manvinder Bisla set the tone for the innings with a blitzkrieg; he smashed Ethy Mbhalati for a boundary and consecutive sixes in the third over, before he found the extra cove fielder. He made 27 off 14 balls and dominated the 32-run opening partnership with Gautam Gambhir.
Gambhir, who has looked woefully out of sorts in this tournament, played the passive partner when Bisla was going hammer and tongs. However, he opened up in the sixth over when he smashed Mbhalati for three boundaries – which included two strikes through cover and one through fine leg – to announce his return to form. Brendon McCullum joined the run feast as he smashed three sixes and as many boundaries in his 20-ball 36. His search for a fourth six saw him getting caught at the long-on boundary. He and Gambhir added 63 runs in 49 balls, which would be the biggest partnership in the match.
After a quiet period of seven overs (during which they lost the wickets of Gambhir, Jacques Kallis and Yusuf Pathan) KKR ended the innings with a flourish. Little-known Debabrata Das powered his way to an unbeaten 43 off 19 balls to help his team to 188. The 26-year-old hit six boundaries and two sixes and was particularly severe on Alfonso Thomas, the Titans’ most-experienced bowler. Manoj Tiwary remained unbeaten on 13 at the end of the innings.
Roelof van der Merwe was the most impressive Titans bowler; bowling his quickish left-arm spin, the 27-year-old finished with figures of 4-0-18-2, which included the wickets of Gambhir and Pathan. Mbhalati, CJ de Villiers and David Weise were the other wicket-takers for the local side.
Though the Titans got off to a brisk start in their run-chase, they caved in meekly in their pursuit of 189. Faced with a mountain to climb, the Titans middle order tried too hard, but collapsed and failed to string together partnerships. Henry Davids (13), Jacques Rudolph (25) and Heino Kuhn (10) were the only Titans players who got into double figures. When Sunil Narine found the stumps of Eden Links, the Titans were bowled out for 89 in 16.4 overs.
L Balaji had a fantastic outing with the ball; he picked up four wickets in his four-over spell, while Manoj Tiwary and Iqbal Abdulla would pick up two wickets each. Jacques Kallis, who opened the bowling, accounted for the wicket of the dangerous Davids.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 188-5 in 20.0 overs (Gautam Gambhir 44, Brendon McCullum 36, Debabrata Das 43*, Roelof va nder Merwe 2-18) beat Titans 89 in 16.4 overs (Jacques Rudolph 25, L Balaji 4-19) by 99 runs.
Man of the Match: Debabrata Das for his match-winning 19-ball 43, which included six boundaries and two sixes.