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KOLKATA: All-rounder Jacques Kallis hit top form and Eoin Morgan exploded before a packed Eden Gardens as defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders stormed to a 48-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.
The burly South African struck a brisk 41 and took 3/13 in four overs as Hyderabad were restricted in their chase of 181. Along with skipper Gautam Gambhir's second consecutive and record 18th IPL half-century and Morgan's maddening 21-ball 47, Kallis had earlier helped the home team post a massive 180. The veteran all-rounder then removed Hyderabad’s openers in consecutive overs to scupper the chase after Parthiv Patel and Cameron had added 57 at the top of the order.
Shockingly, Gambhir's 45-ball 53 edged Kallis to the Man of the match award.
Starting with an asking rate of nine-an-over, it was always going to be difficult for the visitors once their openers returned to the pavilion. And Kumar Sangakkara’s dismissal, caught by a lunging Manoj Tiwary at long-off, spiked the requirement further into the region of two runs per ball.
The threat of Thisara Perera made itself felt briefly when the Sri Lanka all-rounder targeted no-longer-mystery-spinner Sunil Narine for boundaries. But Perera received very little support. D. Ravi Teja holed out to long-on, Tiwary’s second catch of the match, and Perera was himself bowled by Kallis trying to accelerate. Hyderabad finished on 132/7 in their 20.
Everybody chipped in when Kolkata batted before the innings culminated in an eruption from Eoin Morgan’s bat. Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla took the score to 59 inside of eight overs, followed by which the captain and Kallis maintained a healthy rate of accruing in the middle stages.
Gambhir was bowled by Ashish Reddy trying to force the pace.It was then time for Morgan to take control. The England dasher got going against Amit Mishra, creaming him for six and four, and then destroyed Perera for 22 in the 18th over.
Morgan’s 47 came off just 21 balls and contained three sixes, including a flat-batted assault against Dale Steyn. Morgan and Kallis added 67 in five overs, taking the game away from Sunrisers even though Ishant Sharma came back to bowl a good last over.