Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir slammed their third half-centuries of the IPL 2017 as they steered Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) chase of 183-run target against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) at the MCA Stadium on Wednesday. (RPS v KKR BLOG | SCORECARD)
Uthappa made the most of the life he got when he was on 12 after RPS bowler Jaydev Unadkat dropped a catch at deep mid-wicket which went for a boundary. Uthappa’s shot lacked power, but Unadkat couldn’t control after taking the catch and fell awkwardly on his back as the ball rolled over the boundary rope.
Uthappa showed no mercy to young pacer Washington Sundar as he slammed him for a four and consecutive sixes to take 20 runs off his third over.
He even dispatched Imran Tahir for a six over long-on. In the next over, it was Unadkat’s turn as Uthappa hit two boundaries, before skipper Gautam Gambhir ended the over with a boundary to take 14 runs off it.
Uthappa brought up his half-century with a single to deep mid-wicket as he completed his 50 in just 26 balls. He was eventually dismissed for 87.
Gambhir, meanwhile, didn’t have the best of starts to his innings as he took 10 balls to hit his first boundary.
Gambhir did not look in any hurry and didn’t require to take any unnecessary risk as his partner Robin Uthappa did all the big-hitting.
Gambhir played anchor role to perfection, rotating the strike as much as possible and hitting the odd balls to the fence.
Gambhir nonetheless romped to his half-century with a clean strike over long-on off Imran Tahir and then a couple reach his 50 off 35 balls.
There was a run out chance, but the throw from sweeper cover was too high for Dhoni to whip the bails in a flash. By then Gambhir was well inside the crease. He eventually fell for 62, but KKR held on for a seven-wicket win.