Redbacks are considered one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia. On Tuesday night, the Kolkata Knight Riders felt their sting as the South Australian Redbacks inflicted a painful 19-run loss in their Group B Champions League Twenty20 match.
With both teams desperate for a win, aggression was the key. Michael Klinger won the toss and promptly chose to set a target. For the first 14 overs, it looked as if the Redbacks wouldn’t be able to reach their goal of a total which could put the Knight Riders under pressure.
They managed only 94 but the equation changed when the Redbacks plundered 94 in the final six to reach 188 for five.
Callum Ferguson, who was dropped by Jacques Kallis on 18, smashed an unconquered 70 off 40 balls with five fours and four sixes and Daniel Christian plundered 42 (27b; 4×4, 2×6) as the duo added 84 for the fifth wicket off 44 balls.
Chasing 189 was never going to be easy even for the strong Knight Riders’ batting. An explosive start was needed and though Manvinder Bisla (13; 11b, 3×4) smashed off-spinner Nathan Lyon for three fours in the first over, he was castled by medium-pacer Kane Richardson to put the home side on the back foot.
Shakib Al Hasan too tried to chance his arm but was unsuccessful. Skipper Gautam Gambhir (9; 9b, 2×4) and Yusuf Pathan (5; 8b) departed without much ado as the Knight Riders lost steam.
The one area where the Redbacks completely outplayed the Knight Riders was in fielding. While the hosts displayed their largesse by dropping a couple of catches, Klinger, Daniel Harries and Aaron O’Brien did not repay that generosity as they pulled off sensational catches to douse KKR’s hopes.
Manoj Tiwary (40; 31b, 2×4, 2×6), Ryan ten Doeschate (32; 16b, 3×4, 2×6) and Rajat Bhatia (21; 13b, 1×4, 2×6) were unable to prevent the inevitable but helped reduce the margin of loss as the Knight Riders ended up with 169 for nine.