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IPL 2012 – KKR vs PWI: Kolkata Seal Top-two Berth, Will Play Delhi In ‘Qualifier 1’

By on May 20, 2012

Kolkata Knight Riders 136 for 4 (Shakib 42, McCullum 41, Parnell 2-18) beat Pune Warriors India 102 for 8 (Yusuf 2-12, Shakib 2-18) by 34 runs…

Shakib’s all-round show brings about 34-run win over Pune….

There wasn’t much to play for, but whatever was at stake turned out to be motivation enough for Kolkata Knight Riders.

Shahrukh Khan’s franchise rode on Shakib Al Hasan’s all-round show to carve out a 34-run victory over the hopeless Pune Warriors, ensuring that they would finish the league stage in the top two. KKR thus avoided playing in the ‘eliminator’ – the fixture of their unceremonious exit last season – and will face off against Delhi in the ‘Qualifier 1’.

On a sluggish pitch at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Saturday night, Kolkata batted first and reached 136-4, thanks to Brendon McCullum (41) and Shakib Al Hasan (42). The visiting team then arrested Pune’s chase on 102-8, as their three-pronged spin attack – primarily Shakib with 4-0-18-2 and Sunil Narine with 4-0-15-1 – came to the fore.

Pune lost Robin Uthappa early, and when Michael Clarke and Jesse Ryder exited within five runs of each other, the requirement was all uphill. Sourav Ganguly’s dismissal – plumb in front to Shakib – only steepened the incline, and once the required rate crossed ten an over, there was only one way the match was going to end. The defeat was Pune’s ninth successive in IPL-V.

Earlier, Gautam Gambhir elected to bat and KKR reached 136-4 against tight Pune bowling on a sluggish pitch where shot making wasn’t easy. The par total was reached largely due to the 67 in 7.3 overs that McCullum and Shakib added. McCullum provided the initial impetus, and then Shakib made the best of his chances to keep the board ticking.

Gambhir fell cheaply when he struck Wayne Parnell into the hands of mid-on. Jacques Kallis went after Michael Clarke, and was bowled as the newly married Aussie let slip a flat one. McCullum and Shakib got together, taking their side to 50 in the 12th over, before Bangladesh’s sweetheart changed gears. He watched as McCullum took successive boundaries off Ashish Nehra, and capitalized on heaps of good fortune to open the sluice gates.

In the 13th over of the innings, Uthappa fluffed a stumping when Shakib had scored five, as the ball hurried down to the fence for byes. Shakib added insult to injury by heaving a six over mid-wicket on the next ball. A delivery later, Parnell dropped the Bangladeshi at deep square leg and that was followed by another maximum, taking the tally from Clarke’s unfortunate over to 20.

At 101 for two in 15, the visiting side looked set to post a competitive total. But McCullum and Shakib departed in successive overs – the former caught at extra cover, the latter bowled by a Bhuvneshwar Kumar yorker.

What the duo didn’t know then was that they’d done enough to fulfill Kolkata’s agenda of gaining full points from the fixture and have two shots at making the final.

Source: Yahoo Cricket

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