After registering a resounding seven-wicket win over Hobart Hurricanes, KKR stormed into the final of the Champions league. A masterful 54 from Jacques Kallis took KKR to their 14th win on the trot, making them only the second team to do so.
First, a stifling spin attack and then a measured chase did it for the Knight Riders who now clash with Chennai Super Kings in the final in Bangalore on Saturday. The Knight Riders didn’t have to chase much and despite losing skipper Gautam Gambhir fairly early, they managed it easily with Kallis leading from the front. A rasping shot that followed a swivel, and then two silken boundaries through the square leg and mid-wicket proved Kallis’s class and that he belonged to the occasion. Coming in at the fall of the wicket of Gambhir, who was caught at mid-wicket, he soon lost Robin Uthappa. The Karnataka batsman looked momentarily in sync with his bat and footwork, hitting a gorgeous cover drive, followed by a glide down to third man and then killing the swing along the way. But his restlessness got the better of him as Doherty broke through his defence.
In Manish Pandey, who came in at the fall of Uthappa, Kallis not only found an able partner but also thrived at Pandey’s audacious stroke-making.
Earlier, Hobart Hurricanes got off to an edgy start as their skipper Tim Paine sat out due to tummy trouble. The KKR spinners restricted them to 140.