Captain Gautam Gambhir struck a solid 63 to take the Kolkata Knight Riders to a comfortable five-wicket victory over two-time defending champions the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League on Monday.
Gambhir hit one six and six fours in his 52-ball knock as Kolkata scored 140-5 in 19.4 overs after restricting Chennai to 139-5 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.
Apart from Gambhir, South African Jacques Kallis also contributed to the win. After bagging the key wickets of Suresh Raina and Dwayne Bravo, he produced a useful knock of 26 and figured in a 70-run second-wicket stand with Gambhir.
Gambhir, who struck 93 in Kolkata’s last game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, was out in the penultimate over when he was trapped leg before wicket by West Indies allrounder Bravo with a slower delivery, but local favorite Debabrata Das produced a four-ball cameo of 11 and scored the winning four off Ravichandran Ashwin to complete the win with just two deliveries remaining.
“We did a good job restricting them to 139,” Gambhir said after being named man of the match.
“We know we have a lot of potential and quality, we only need to a complement each other. Das should have been man of the match,” he said.
Earlier, Gambhir rotated the bowlers well to restrict Chennai on a slow pitch.
South African Faf du Plessis (3) was dismissed early by Brett Lee, while his Australian opening partner Michael Hussey (18) was run out as Chennai struggled to 32-2 in five overs.
Left-hander Raina ended a lean patch by scoring 44 off 34 balls with one six and four fours, while captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni made an unbeaten 34 off 30 balls with only two fours.
The win ensured Kolkata stay in second place with six wins, three losses and a no-result from 10 games. Chennai have four wins, five losses and a no-result.