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IPL PHOTOS: Yadav, Gambhir lift KKR to victory

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 14, 2017 00:02 IST
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Gautam Gambhir

IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir celebrates after completing his half-century. Photograph: BCCI

Fast bowler Umesh Yadav claimed four wickets on his comeback, while captain Gautam Gambhir stroked an unbeaten half-century as Kolkata Knight Riders outclassed Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets, in Kolkata, on Thursday.

Gambhir gunned down the opposition attack with a blazing innings of 72 not out from just 49 balls, helping his team overcome the 171-run target in 16.3 overs.

The move to send Sunil Narine (37 off 18 balls) at the top of the order alongside Gambhir worked brilliantly as they smashed 76 off 34 balls to set up a comprehensive victory.

Sunil Narine

IMAGE: Sunil Narine hits out. Photograph: BCCI

Manish Pandey finished the match with a six to remain unbeaten on 25 alongside Gambhir after Robin Uthappa came up with a 26-run cameo.

The win for KKR came after a painful loss against Mumbai Indians and as they jumped to top of the IPL standings with two victories from three games.

It was the first loss of the season for Kings XI Punjab after two emphatic wins.

Gautam Gambhir

IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir hits out. Photograph: BCCI

The game was very much in the bag for KKR with the flying start they got through Narine, who entertained the Eden crowd by slamming three sixes and four boundaries.

It was also a record equalling 33rd IPL fifty for Gambhir, who now shares the feat with David Warner.

The result proved that KKR are a tough side to beat at home and as they registered their 11th successful chase at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Umesh Yadav

IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders fast bowler Umesh Yadav celebrates a wicket. Photograph: BCCI

Yadav, who missed two matches because of a niggle following a hectic Test series against Australia, struck thrice in his fourth over to cover up for another poor display on the field.

Punjab look well placed on 95 for two after 10 overs before Umesh dismissed opposition skipper Glenn Maxwell, who hit a quickfire 25 off 14 balls, for his first wicket.

The visitors once again stepped up the momentum with Wriddhiman Saha (25 off 17) and David Miller (28 off 19) putting up 57 runs in 32 balls to put their team on course for a total close to 200.

Punjab were going comfortably at 145 for four in 17 overs when Umesh made his presence felt with a flurry of wickets to dismiss Miller and Saha, while Axar Patel (0) became his fourth victim.

IMAGE: Kings XI Punjab Manan Vohra is bowled by Piyush Chawla. Photograph: BCCI

Put in to bat, Kings XI Punjab were off to a spectacular start with 10 runs from first over as Manan Vohra (28) and Hashim Amla (25) put on their second successive fifty-plus opening partnership.

Making full use of his reprieve on 17, Vohra went on the attack against KKR's opening pace duo of Umesh and Trent Boult.

The visitors were 47 for no loss after four overs and were in no mood to relent before Piyush Chawla broke the opening stand  when Vohra was bowled after failing to read one that went straight on.

Glenn Maxwell

IMAGE: Kings XI Punjab captain Glenn Maxwell hits out. Photograph: BCCI

Chawla conceded just four runs in the sixth over, the last over of Powerrplay as KKR went on to arrest Punjab's run flow with 14 runs from three overs.

The momentum temporarily shifted in favour of KKR who got a second breakthrough when Marcus Stoinis bottom-edged one to his stumps off Narine.

But poor catching once again hurt their cause and this time part-time wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa failed to take a regulation catch off Maxwell on five.

The miss proved costly as Maxwell hammered Chawla for a six and two fours in his next over that yielded 17 runs with 15 off them coming from the Punjab's captain blade.

Shraddha Kapoor

Earlier, Bollywood actress Shraddha Kapoor danced to Bollywood numbers in a 19-minute opening ceremony to mark the start of the first match of the season at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

The show was a fusion of Bollywood numbers and traditional chhau dance as both the team captains, Gambhir and Maxwell, took the fair play pledge before taking the field.

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