Kolkata Knight Riders moved to third in the Indian Premier League (IPL) table after they beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets at Eden gardens on Thursday.
Kolkata captain Dinesh Karthik won the toss and elected to field first, a decision that paid off in the end as Chennai struggled on a fairly decent batting strip to post 177-5.
None of their batsmen managed to build on their cameos, with visiting captain MS Dhoni top-scoring with an unbeaten 43. Once again, it was the spinners who did the damage on behalf of Kolkata, with Sunil Narine taking 2-20 and Piyush Chawla ending up with 2-35.
The up and coming Shubman Gill (57) Karthik (45) then guided the hosts home with 14 balls to spare.
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Mumbai hope for Hardik revival
Mumbai Indians are still in contention for the IPL play-offs, but time is running out for the defending champions as they face in-form Kings XI Punjab at Indore on Friday.
Bottom of the table on four points after eight games, Mumbai are confronted with a host of problems, mostly with the batting. Captain Rohit Sharma and Evin Lewis are both still closing in on 200 runs. But the form of their all-rounders has been worse.
The Indians suffered a serious setback from a 14-run defeat to the league’s other early strugglers, Royal Challengers Bangalore, on Tuesday. However, the silver lining was the performance of Hardik Pandya.
The India all-rounder has only tallied 111 runs this season, but he scored 50 runs during his side’s failed chase. He also bowled well, taking 3-28 to make a few dents in Bangalore’s line-up.
Mumbai’s other all-rounder, Kieron Pollard, has also been below par, after scoring just 76 runs. Unable to bowl due to a yet undetermined reason, his place in the side may already be in jeopardy.
On the other hand, third-placed Punjab have no such problems to deal with.
Theirs has been a collective success story, with most players chipping in with match-winning performances. Yuvraj Singh flopped with the bat, but Lokesh Rahul and Chris Gayle have given their team good starts.
Captain Ravichandran Ashwin has bowled well, but he has been outshown by younger, lesser-known teammates such as Ankit Rajpoot and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Two matches have been scheduled on Saturday as Chennai Super Kings host Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils visit Hyderabad to take on the Sunrisers.