Captain Gautam Gambhir struck a neat half-century as the Kolkata Knight Riders scored an easy eight-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.
The left-handed opener’s unbeaten 66 helped Kolkata exact revenge for the loss in a low-scoring game three days ago as they coasted to 127-2 in 16.3 overs in reply to Punjab’s 124-7 in the return game at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
Gambhir smashed one six and seven fours off 44 balls and finished the game in the company of South African allrounder Jacques Kallis, who was 30 not out off 23 deliveries.
The Kolkata batsmen completed a clinical show after Brett Lee and Sunil Narine had led a disciplined bowling performance.
Australian speedster Lee grabbed 2-26 and West Indian spinner Narine 2-24 as Punjab were restricted to a moderate total after captain Adam Gilchrist had elected to bat on a sporting pitch.
Gilchrist himself was the highest scorer for the home side with an unbeaten 40, playing his innings in two parts as he retired hurt on 28 after pulling a hamstring while running during the sixth over.
Gilchrist, who came back to bat when Dmitri Mascarenhas was dismissed in the 17th over, struck one six and three fours in his 30-ball knock.
His Australian compatriot, Shaun Marsh, was the second-highest scorer in the team with 33 off 30 balls with four fours.
“My injury took the direction out of our innings,” Gilchrist said.
It was the third win from six games for Kolkata. Punjab have two wins from five games.