After Mahela’s solo effort with bat, it was Nadeem’s turn to make the solo impressive effort with some help from Botha to make the chase difficult for Kolkata Knight Riders. But, Yusuf Pathan in his new cool Avataar with Morgan took KKR home with 8 balls to spare.
KKR made the small chase interesting by fumbling inbetween. 2012 final MOM Bisla could not negotiate with Nehra and returned to pavillion in 2nd over scoring 4 runs on 9 balls. Kallis joined Gambhir and took the score to 52 but could not tackle Nadeem in the 8th over and went scoring 23 runs in 20 balls. With Manoj Tiwary, captain Gambhir 42 runs in 29 balls with 5 fours and a six) took his team to 93 but was trapped by Botha in front of wicket in 14th over. In next over Tiwary’s (23 runs in 23 balls) uncomfort to spin was ended by Nadeem. Score read 99/4 in 14.2 overs.
With 29 runs required in 30 balls, Mahela made a surprising change. Instead of bringing Botha to search for another wicket, he got Russell and Umesh Yadav for next 3 overs. Morgan and Pathan milked them for 26 runs. In 19th over Botha was brought but KKR needed only 3 runs and they won in the end easily by 6 wickets.
A patient and sensible short knock of Pathan (17 runs on 15 balls with a six) was a surprise. May be the marriage has changed his bang bang approach. Too early to say, but if that becomes a habit Yusuf of 2008 could be back in 2013. Morgan was unbeaten on other end on run-a-ball 12 runs with a boundary.
There was not much challenge for KKR to tackle, except the bowling of Nadeem who had 22/2 in 4 overs. Irfan Pathan bowled the only maiden of the match, but in another over he showed his other wayward side by giving 15 runs.
For KKR there is still some learning. Bisla should grab the opportunity with both hands before McCullum returns. Gambhir should try less gifting wicket by strolling outside the crease. With a good fielding side, he won’t get similar two lives. Tiwary is eyeing a return to Indian team, and his fumble against spin would not only make that difficult but even create trouble for him in remaining matches. Brett Lee should work on his length better to give KKR a lesser expensive spell.