Captain Gautam Gambhir and Brendon McCullum shared a decisive 113-run opening stand as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Pune Warriors by seven runs, and Rajasthan Royals beat Kings XI Punjab by 43 runs in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
Gambhir struck 56 and McCullum hit 42 as Kolkata set a competitive 150-5 in 20 overs after electing to bat at Eden Gardens.
Captain Sourav Ganguly (36) and all-rounder Angelo Mathews (35) led the chase with a 73-run stand for the sixth wicket, but Pune could manage only 143-8 in reply.
The Gambhir-McCullum partnership added 100 runs in only 10.2 overs, but their dismissals in quick succession on a slower pitch allowed Pune to bounce back.
At 55-5, Ganguly and Mathews started Pune’s recovery.
Mathews hit three straight sixes against off-spinner Yusuf Pathan in the 15th over, but the chase always looked difficult, especially after Ganguly’s departure.
Ganguly, who comes from Kolkata, hit one six and four boundaries.
It was the fifth consecutive loss for Pune, who are second from bottom with four wins and eight losses. Kolkata are second in the nine-team league with seven wins, three defeats and a no-result.
In Mohali, Australia allrounder Shane Watson stood out from among a clutch of batting performances with a whirlwind 36 off 17 balls with two sixes and four fours as Rajasthan scored a challenging 177-6 after electing to bat.
He then produced a spell of 2-22, which included the wicket of in-form opener Mandeep Singh, as Punjab were restricted to 134-8.
Rajasthan and Punjab have five wins each from 11 games.
Delhi Daredevils lead the table with eight wins and two losses.