Gambhir, Kallis steer KKR to a comfortable victory (Intro-Roundup)

Kolkata, April 14 (IANS) Holders Kolkata Knight Riders brought their campaign back on track, humbling Sunrisers Hyderabad by 48 runs in an Indian Premier League match at the Eden Gardens here Sunday.

The Sunrisers managed 132/7, replying to an imposing 180. Gautam Gambhir (53), Jacques Kallis (41) and Eoin Morgan (47) were the main contributors for KKR.

Playing at home after losing two successive away games, KKR garnered full two points, to inflate their kitty to four from as many games.

The Sunrisers started off solidly with explosive batsman Cameron White promoting himself up the order to partner Parthiv Patel. The duo put up the first 50-run opening partnership for the visitors in IPL-6.

However, the stand was broken at 57 when Patel 27 (31b 2×4 1×6) was castled by a Jacques Kallis delivery while going for an expansive shot.

Patel’s exit led to the fall of two more wickets. Cameron 34 (31b 2×4 1×6) and skipper Kumar Sangakkara (2) departed in quick secession, leaving the visitors in trouble at 71/3 in the 12th over.

With the asking run rate mounting, the Sunrisers’ frail batting line-up wilted under pressure, as the willowers threw their wickets away in their endeavour to score quick runs.

Sachitra Senanayeke (1/18) made an impressive IPL debut for KKR. All-rounder Kallis, who earlier impressed with the bat, returned to torment the visitors with the ball (3/13) as well.

Kallis removed both the openers, derailing the visitors’ run chase as they failed to sustain the momentum while the hosts tightened their grip.

The burly South African came back in the penultimate over to get rid of Thisara Perera 36 (25b 2×4 1×6).

Sunil Narine (1/31) and Rajat Bhatia (2/33) were the other wicket takers.

Earlier, choosing to bat first, KKR began well as their openers Gambhir and Manvider Bisla scored fluently reaching 50 in the 7th over as Sunrisers bowlers looked listless against the batting onslaught.

Sangakkara kept on rotating his bowlers but they failed to make any impact.

KKR’s foreign recruits Kallis and Morgan revved up the run rate towards the end as they flayed the Hyderabad bowlers all around the park. Morgan scored 22 of the last over of Thisara Perera, including three boundaries and a six, to take KKR past the 150 run mark in the 18th over.

Morgan 47 (21b 5×4 3×6) was run out in the very next over to bring curtains to his blistering knock.

In the post match media meet, Gambhir credited Morgan for their strong score, saying: “Morgan’s knock made the entire difference.”

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