Centurion: Ross Taylor smashed a blistering unbeaten 33-ball 81 as Royal Challengers pulled off a stunning six-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders in a thrilling Indian Premier League match on Tuesday.
Chasing 174 for a win built around skipper Brendon McCullum’s 84, Royal Challengers feasted on Knight Riders’ below-par bowling and romped home with four balls to spare at the Supersports Park.
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Royal Challengers won their fifth match from the 11 played so far while Kolkata side continue to be bottom-placed with after their ninth loss from 11 ties. Kolkata have so far won just one match -- against Kings XI Punjab via Duckworth Lewis method.
Man-of-the-match Taylor was given a reprieve when the Kolkata side goofed up and failed to run him out in his very first delivery in which he ended up scoring five runs. He made full use of his second life and hit seven four and five sixes to help Royal Challengers emerge triumphant in the thrilling match.
Bangalore were off to a brisk start with Jesse Ryder (22) and Jacques Kallis (32) adding 58 runs for opening wicket in eight overs but Kolkata bowlers removed three batsmen in the space of 10 balls.
Bangalore were reduced to 70 for two at the strategy break and in the subsequent over they also had Robin Uthappa out of the scene.
Kallis, who faced 38 balls and decorated his stint with four boundaries and a six, the was the first one to go with left-arm spinner Murali Kartik getting him caught by McCullum on the second ball of ninth over.
Ryder followed as he tried to slice an Ajit Agarkar delivery to over the covers but instead ended up sending it to the third man and Ganguly took the sitter on the second ball of the 10th over.
Kolkata had a chance to make the next batsman Taylor their third victim by taking him run out but instead ended up giving him five runs in his first ball.
Taylor ran for a sharp single to mid-off as Hussey went for the stumps but lacking a backing from either the ‘keeper or the slip fielders which resulted in an overthrow which went for a four through fine leg.
Taylor waged a lone battle against the KKR with Rahul Dravid (12) falling cheaply to Ajantha Mendis and Mark Boucher being unbeaten on 13 at the other end.
Knight Riders bowlers Ishant Sharma and Ajit Agarkar did the most damage to the team’s win prospects as they returned figures of 0-40 and 1-45 respectively in their four overs each.
Put in to bat, Kolkata team were struggling at 21 for 2 in 4.2 overs with veteran opener Sourav Ganguly (4) and Arindam Ghosh already cooling heels in the dugout, thanks to R Vinay Kumar’s impressive opening spell.