Kolkata, May 8 (IANS) Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan’s unconquered fifth wicket stand of 134 rescued Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) after a disastrous start and helped them post a challenging 158/4 against Gujarat Lions in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here on Sunday.
Hasan remained unbeaten with a 49-ball 66, while Pathan carried his bat through with a knock of 63 from 41 deliveries. For the Lions, Praveen Kumar returned figures of 2-19 on a wicket that helped him swing the leather.
Put into bat at the Eden Gardens, it was Uthappa for KKR who started on the right note slamming two back-to-back boundaries of Dhawal Kulkarni. But then in the very next over, veteran pacer Pravin Kumar got rid of Gautam Gambhir and then Manish Pandey. First Gambhir was castled around his legs and then Pandey managed to edge a swinging delivery straight through to the wicket-keeper.
Barely had KKR recovered from the double jolt, Uthappa, who was looking dangerous, headed back to the dugout. Next it was Suryakumar Yadav who perished as Suresh Raina held onto an incredible slip catch.
After six overs, the Knights were tottering at 28/4.
With the top order gone, the innings moved forward at a snail’s pace with Pathan and Hasan at the crease.
The hosts finally got hold of some momentum as Pathan hammered Chinaman bowler Shivil Kaushik for 14 runs in the 10th over.
Though it was not easy hitting the long ball in such humid conditions, Pathan managed to pierce the gap time and again. Hasan – dropped by Pravin Tambe in the seventh over – too played his role by giving his partner much of the strike.
The Bangladesh batsman brought up his side’s hundred next in the 16th over with a monstrous six. And Pathan completed his fifty a little later.
Hasan, who had been playing second fiddle finally found his feet in the 18th over as he lofted Dwayne Bravo for two back-to-back sixes.
In the last two overs, KKR amassed 25 runs to finish on a strong note.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): 158/4 (Shakib Al Hasan 66, Yusuf Pathan 63; Praveen Kumar 2-19) vs Gujarat Lions