Top-of-the-table Knight Riders beat flailing Chargers

AFP, HYDERABAD, INDIA

Thu, May 05, 2011 - Page 18

Yusuf Pathan smashed an unbeaten 47 and Iqbal Abdulla grabbed two quick wickets as the Kolkata Knight Riders posted a 20-run win over the Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

Pathan hit three sixes and as many fours in his 26-ball knock to help Kolkata reach 169-4, before left-arm spinner Abdulla got two wickets in three balls to restrict Deccan to 149-6.

It was Kolkata’s sixth victory and Deccan’s sixth defeat in nine matches of the Twenty20 tournament.

Kolkata and Mumbai now jointly lead the 10-team league table with 12 points, followed by Rajasthan (11), Chennai (10), Bangalore (9), Kochi (8), Deccan (6), Delhi (6), Punjab (6) and Pune (4).

Abdulla put Deccan under pressure in his second over when he dismissed opener Sunny Sohal (26) and skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who failed to open his account.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan top-scored for Deccan with a 45-ball 54, before being bowled by South Africa paceman Jacques Kallis in the 18th over. He added 56 for the fifth wicket with Ravi Teja (30).

Pathan, dropped twice during his brisk knock, and Manoj Tiwary (33) earlier helped Kolkata set a challenging target as they added 80 runs in eight overs for the fourth wicket.

Kolkata were 84-3 in the 12th over after Kallis and skipper Gautam Gambhir (35) fell in the space of four deliveries, before they made a strong finish thanks to middle-order batsmen Pathan and Tiwary.