Knight is might: KKR ride into the Sunrise

Kolkata, April 14 -- Two spinners bowling in tandem with a slip in place with six fielders inside the 30-yard circle, now this can't be a Twenty20 match!

But such is the confidence a bone dry Eden Gardens pitch instills in a bowling attack that specialises in stifling the run flow that this could be the norm from here on, at least at home.

It's not about dismissing the opponents. Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir likes the slow death method, denying width and pace to batsmen, to a point where they get restless and throw away their wickets.

There is always a sinister pleasure in that.

The 49-run win margin remains one of the biggest KKR have recorded in the league but the way in which the defending champions stamped their authority shows that given the right conditions, KKR can make any opposition dance to their tune.

Tough decisions

Rarely would you come across a T20 match where spinners operate from both ends.

Bringing in Sri Lanka slow bowler Sachithra Senanayake in place of Ryan McLaren also meant sacrificing the craft and experience of Brett Lee again.

But it was also the first time this season that the batting backed up KKR's bowling with a stupendous effort.

Eoin Morgan and Jacques Kallis stood out with quickfire knocks but it was only possible after Gambhir had laid the platform with a rock-steady 53.

Kallis and Morgan then launched into an attack Hyderabad wouldn't have even dreamt of.

Suddenly Thisara Perara and Ishant Sharma didn't look as dangerous as they had on previous occasions.

The Eden Gardens pitch was also a factor. With the ball coming onto the bat much slower than expected, Kallis and Morgan happily went about their demolition job, not even sparing Dale Steyn.

Expecting an uphill battle, Hyderabad sent Cameron White to open the batting with Parthiv Patel.

They put on 57 runs for the first wicket. But that took nine overs to accumulate and showed KKR had started dictating the scoring rate.

Senanayake and Narine only made it more difficult for them. Kallis exploited the pressure created by the spinners and helped himself to three wickets, but he too was miserly, giving away only 13 runs.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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