Kallis stars in Kolkata's win over Deccan
Kolkata: Experienced allrounder Jacques Kallis struck his second consecutive half-century to help Kolkata Knight Riders score a nine-run victory over Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament on Monday.
The South African struck a solid 45-ball 53 as the host side posted 163-4 at Eden Gardens, the highest total of the tournament thus far.
In reply, Deccan Chargers could only manage 154-8 with left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah claiming three crucial wickets.
Kallis, who scored 54 against Chennai Super Kings, laid the foundation for a competitive score by adding 51 for the first wicket with Manvinder Bisla (19) and carried on with confidence.
After smashing seven fours, Kallis hoisted South African teammate J.P. Duminy over the mid-wicket fence to reach his half-century. But Kallis attempted a similar shot off the next ball and was caught by Shikhar Dhawan just inside the fence.
"The pitch was slow and offering some turn," said Kallis, who also took four catches later to win the man-of-the-match award. "At the halfway stage, we were looking at a score of 140-odd but we got more than 160."
Manoj Tiwary, who hit Duminy for two sixes in an over, contributed a useful 30 not out off 21 balls. Captain Gautam Gambhir struck 29 and Yousuf Pathan 22 to further boost the total.
For the Chargers, legspinner Amit Mishra bowled well in the final overs to finish with 2-19, but the batsmen failed to take inspiration from him.
The reply started on the wrong note as the Chargers lost a couple of early wickets. Bharat Chipli enjoyed two lives early on and top-scored with 48, but the Kumar Sangakkara-led team lacked punch in the middle-order.
Australian allrounder Daniel Christian made 25 off 13 balls but the others failed to get quick runs on a pitch that seemed to deteriorate.
Abdullah, whom Gambhir used with the new ball, finished with three for 24 while medium-pacers Rajat Bhatia and Jaidev Unadakt bagged two wickets each. "They had got a good score but we could have chased it," said Sangakkara. "We lost too many wickets and that is a matter of concern for us."
This was the first win in two matches for the Knight Riders, who had lost by two runs to Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener.
Deccan Chargers fell to its second defeat, having lost to Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets. On Tuesday, Royals will play Delhi Daredevils at Jaipur.