A splendid opening wicket stand by the belligerent Manoj Tiwary (50) and Brad Hodge (50) ensured the Kolkata Knight Riders a comfortable seven-wicket win in their IPL match against the Bangalore Royal Challengers at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.
Chasing just 136 to win, the local side cruised home with four balls to spare, with Cheteshwar Pujara on five and Owais Shah on two.
It was Kolkata’s second straight win in the competition, after their opening win over the Deccan Chargers on Friday.
Tiwary and Hodge put on 101 runs for the opening wicket, in under 12 overs, to ensure the eventuality.
Tiwary, out for a duck in the opening match against Deccan Chargers, made a maiden IPL fifty. His aggressive 29-ball knock comprised of six boundaries and two massive hits over it.
However, soon after he reached the landmark, he hit a Roelof van der Merwe delivery straight back to the bowler to give Bangalore their first wicket, albeit a tad too late.
Two balls later, Ganguly, also out for a golden duck again the Chargers, was dropped by Sreevats.
Hodge completed his fourth IPL half-century soon after but was dismissed in the same over. The Australian’s 45-ball knock was inclusive of seven hits to the fence.
Sourav Ganguly made an almost run-a-ball 23 before being dismissed with just trequired.
The KKR captain hit a Praveen Kumar delivery straight to Eoin Morgan at deep midwicket.
Earlier, a superlative unbeaten 65 by veteran Jacques Kallis helped the Bangalore Royal Challengers post a total with a semblance of respectability.
The Bangalore team, after struggling at 35 for four in the eighth over, managed 135 for seven in their stipulated 20 overs.
Kallis’ masterclass came off just 52 balls and consisted of seven hits to the fence and a huge one over it.
Angelo Matthews was the most successful Kolkata bowler with figures of four for 19 in his four overs. Murali Kartik impressed again with his two for 22.
The home team made most of their decision to bowl first.
Charl Langeveldt dismissed Sreevats Goswami in his second over to give Kolkata Knight Riders an early breakthrough.
Goswami (8) was caiught by Ishant Sharma at third man.
Two overs later, Manish Pandey (0)) dragged an Matthews delivery to his stumps to make it a double celebrations for the hosts.
Virat Kohli (2) was caught by Matthews off Kartik to ensure another setback for Bangalore and their woes were compounded when Eoin Morgan (10) dragged a Kartik delivery onto his stumps.
Rahul Dravid (21) and Kallis put on 38 runs for the fifth wicket before another fatal inside edge (off Matthews) ended Dravid’s innings.
Robin Uthappa (20) lasted 17 balls before edging an Matthews delivery straight to Saha behind the stumps.
Three balls later, a Roelef van der Merwe mishit was snapped up by Brad Hodge at backward point, giving Matthews his fourth wicket of the innings.
Praveen Kumar remained unbeaten on three.
Earlier, Kolkata Knight Riders’ captain Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bowl first.
“It’s going to be a bit slow up front. We want to chase,” reasoned Ganguly. His reasoning seemed to be a right one as the Knight Riders made most of their decision to bowl first.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sourav Ganguly (capt), Brad Hodge, Rohan Gavaskar, Murali Kartik, Charl Langeveldt, Angelo Mathews, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddimaan Saha, Owais Shah, Ishant Sharma, LR Shukla, Ashok Dinda.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Anil Kumble (captain), Jacques Kallis, Sreevats Goswami, Manish Pandey, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Eoin Morgan, Robin Uthappa, Roelef van der Merwe, Praveen Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun, R Vinay Kumar, Dillon du Preez.