Gautam Gambhir is in the middle of a hot batting streak in the 2011 Indian Premier League (IPL), and the skipper’s form is getting reflected on the fortunes of Kolkata Knight Riders, who are currently atop the standings.
In their top-of-the-table clash against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in Pune on Wednesday, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and electing to bowl. Kolkata Knight Riders restricted Rising Pune Supergiant to 182 for five and then chased down the target with seven wickets in hand, with Gambhir, along with Robin Uthappa, playing the lead role. (Highlights)
During the course of his innings of 62 runs, Gautam Gambhir became the second Indian after Virat Kohli and fifth batsman overall to complete a fifty of 50 plus scores in Twenty-20 cricket. (Scorecard)
No wonder the 35-year-old southpaw is confident about his and his side’s run-chasing capabilities.
Soon after the victory against Rising Pune Supergiant -- that saw Kolkata Knight Riders climb to the top of the IPL table-- Gautam Gambhir spoke about how his side is confident of chasing any target down.
“I thought we are a good chasing side and we are confident of chasing anything. Restricting the opposition to 180 was terrific and the credit needs to go to the bowlers,” said Gambhir after KKR Registered their sixth win out of eight games in IPL 10.
KKR’s chase was built on the 158-run second wicket stand between Robin Uthappa (87 off 47 balls) and Gambhir (62 off 46 balls). There were many highs and landmarks for Gambhir in the match.
“It’s good to keep contributing, I keep saying Orange Cap does not matter if you don’t have points as a team. But it is good to score runs and when you are, score as much as you can,” added Gambhir, who has played 224 Twenty20 innings from 228 matches so far.
His IPL record is impressive -- 34 of Gambhir’s 50 fifties were scored in the 140 matches he has played in the IPL (26 for Kolkata Knight Riders in 100 innings and eight fifties for Delhi Daredevils in 39 innings).
Gambhir also equalled David Warner’s record of most fifties in IPL after scoring his 34th fifty. Warner has scored the same number of fifties in 107 innings. The Australian left hander also scored two hundreds while Gambhir is yet to make a hundred in this annual tournament.
The match against Rising Pune Supergiant was also Gautam Gambhir’s 100th for Kolkata Knight Riders. He has led KKR in all the 100 matches to become the second player to lead 100 or more matches for one particular team in the IPL, after MS Dhoni, who led Chennai Super Kings in 129 matches.
(With inputs from S. Pervez Qaiser)