Kolkata, April 13 (IANS) Fifties from Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey along with a quickfire 17-ball 36 from Andre Russell helped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) post a challenging 187/5 against Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League (IPL) game at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
Gambhir scored a 52-ball 64 and was ably supported by Pandey’s 52. For Mumbai, Mitchell McClenaghan returned figures of 2/25.
The hosts got off to a slow but steady start with 19 runs coming off the first three overs. However, Robin Uthappa (8) who was looking good after hitting a delightful boundary, perished trying to hook one to the leg-side.
Manish Pandey then came out to give his skipper company and after six overs, KKR managed to put up 40/1 on the scoreboard.
The duo carried on without too much of a trouble. They ran hard between wickets and picked up the odd boundaries.
But once in the groove, both batters successfully hit the big shots against the likes of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and Hardik Pandya.
In the 11th over, Jagadeesha Suchith was taken for a ride. Pandey hit a massive sixer into the stands followed by another one from Gambhir. The over yielded 18 runs — the biggest in the innings.
Gambhir, who was dropped at 30 by Rohit Sharma, then got to his half century. Pandey too got to his fifty as the Knights tried stepping on the gas.
But soon after, the men-in-purple lost Pandey who succumbed to a soft dismissal, caught and bowled by Harbhajan.
Russell who walked out to bat after Pandey’s departure started off on the highest gear. He clobbered Tim Southee for two sixes and then cracked Harbhajan for another one.
He continued the onslaught but at the other end, Mumbai dropped Gambhir again.
However, a little later Russell dragged a pull on to his stumps and then Gambhir skied yet another one. This time MI wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel held onto the catch.
Mumbai pulled things back in the last few overs which included only seven runs of the ultimate over bowled by Jasprit Bumrah.