Despite stylish aerial hitting from Colin Ingram, muscular blows from JJ Smuts, and Mark Boucher’s late effort, Warriors managed 155, a total that will take all the defending on a skidding surface flanked by short boundaries and a damp outfield. Warriors made a quick start despite the early loss of Ashwell Prince, but Kolkata Knight Riders got the desperation and the angles in the field right, keeping well-hit shots down to ones. Jacques Kallis and Brett Lee responded with the ball too, and only 67 were conceded in the last nine overs. Lee went for just 25 in his four.
JJ Smuts tried to power his way through at the start, and in spite of all his efforts managed a strike-rate of 107 in his 46. He played out 17 dots. It is usually difficult to argue against an innings of 61 off 47, but Ingram did miss out on converting ones into twos, a few full tosses, and struggled to accelerate. At one stage in the end he wanted to walk off even after edging short of the keeper. He scored two couples, and his last 14 deliveries brought him 11 runs.
That Ingram promised much more cannot be doubted. He began with sixes off Lee, Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan. The third of those sixes made its way to the press box on the third floor at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. It was going swimmingly for Warriors then: that six took the score to 75 for 1 in the 10th over, with two set batsmen looking to launch higher.
Both batsmen hit a boundary each in the next over, but in the following overs the acceleration didn’t come about. Ingram hit three full tosses for ones, JJ Smuts toe-ended a short ball to mid-off, and with a new batsman at the crease the Knight Riders sneaked in a few quiet overs. Ryan ten Doeschate, Manoj Tiwary and Lee were electric in the outfield to assist their bowlers.
Kallis came back in the 16th over with 28 scored off the preceding four overs, and turned the screws further. Just four came off his accurate over, and Lee followed it up wide yorkers to concede just five off the 17th. Even as Ingram struggled, Mark Bouhcer kept finding ways to counter the Knight Riders’ comeback. He scooped his good friend Jacques Kallis for back-to-back fours and then hit L Balaji for two boundaries in the last over to take Warriors to a fighting total.
- Twenty20 match | 2011/12 season
- Played at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
- 1 October 2011 – day/night
|Kolkata Knight Riders squad|
|G Gambhir*, L Balaji, R Bhatia, MS Bisla†, SP Goswami, BJ Haddin†, Iqbal Abdulla, JH Kallis, B Lee, YK Pathan, Shami Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, RN ten Doeschate, MK Tiwary, JD Unadkat|
|J Botha*, ACR Birch, N Boje, MV Boucher†, CA Ingram, JP Kreusch, L Meyer, M Ntini, WD Parnell, AG Prince, JT Smuts, KR Smuts, J Theron, CA Thyssen, LL Tsotsobe|
Kallis strikes early for Knight Riders
Nokia Champions League T20 Kolkata Knight Riders v Warriors
With rain a constant threat, Kolkata Knight Riders chose to field after winning the toss. Although the match began half an hour late because of the afternoon rain, it stayed a 20-over contest.
Knight Riders, needing to win to stay alive in the competition, suffered a blow before the match. The impressive Brad Haddin pulled out with a hamstring injury. They also left out Jaydev Unadkat and Shami Ahmed. In came Shakib Al Hasan, Manvinver Bisla and L Balaji. The unbeaten Warriors made no changes to their winning combination.
Win or bust for Kolkata Knight Riders
Big Picture, Match Facts and Predictions
Kolkata Knight Riders have finally arrived. After an unconvincing win against Auckland in the Champions League T20 qualifiers and three consecutive losses, the team clicked against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday. The bowlers prised out six wickets in the first 15 overs and kept the run rate below 7.00, before the inevitable late surge. The top order, apart from a few unsightly swings from Brad Haddin early on, were efficient.
The question though remains, has it all come together a little too late for the Knight Riders? It’s still down to net run rates and other results going their way. They have all but wiped out their negative net run rate by easing past Royal Challengers, but, to have any chance of a semi-final berth, will need another big win against a team that has looked the best unit in the CLT20 so far: Warriors. In game one, against Royal Challengers, Warriors showed they had the temperament to fight their way out of a tough situation. In their second match, they blew away South Australia. A win here will all but guarantee them a place in the semi-finals.
In an aside, Mark Boucher had made it clear he wants to use the tournament as a platform to re-launch his international limited-overs career. With South Africa wicketkeeper AB de Villiers picking up an injury on Wednesday during a practice session with Royal Challengers, Boucher will be eager to make a difference in this match.
Watch out for …
Johan Botha followed up his match-turning partnership with Ashwell Prince against Royal Challengers with a stifling three-over spell against South Australia, in which he picked up Michael Klinger’s wicket and conceded only 11 runs. He boasts of the best economy rate (200 overs minimum) in the shortest format – 6.01 – and is 24 runs short of 1000 Twenty20 runs. Will he get past the landmark on Saturday?
Returning after a nasty concussion, Gautam Gambhir looked scratchy in the short time he spent at the crease in Knight Riders’ previous two matches. Against Royal Challengers though, he seemed to regain his touch, manoeuvring the spinners with ease and stroking sixes down the ground. His return to form is a big boost for a side that’s fighting for survival.
Knight Riders got their opening combinations just right on Thursday – Jacques Kallis bowling up front and Haddin at the top of the batting order worked well. They have finally seem to found some rhythm, so it seems unlikely that they will tamper too much with their XI. One change they will ponder is whether to bring back the experienced L Balaji for Jaydev Unadkat, who went for plenty against Royal Challengers.
Warriors made only one change in their last match, playing Kelly Smuts in place of Justin Kreusch down the order, and are unlikely to tweak their line-up much here either. The big-hitting Craig Thyssen has been dismissed cheaply in both games, but as he hasn’t had much of a chance to get going, he should play.
Stats and trivia
So far in the tournament, JJ Smuts has the most runs from boundaries in an innings – 52 off his 88 runs against South Australia came in fours and sixes
Kallis and Gambhir’s century partnership against Royal Challengers is the second-highest for any wicket in the tournament
- “Brett and Kallis bowled tremendously in the first six overs [against Royal Challengers]. But we have concerns regarding our bowling at the death and that needs to be addressed.”
- Gautam Gambhir, Kolkata Knight Riders’ captain knows there’s room for improvement
“We would like to finish first.”
Warriors’ allrounder Johan Botha says his side will not be satisfied with doing just enough to progress to the knockouts