Yusuf Pathan guides KKR home as Pune flounder again | ipl | kkr | Hindustan Times
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Yusuf Pathan guides KKR home as Pune flounder again

Kolkata Knight Riders pegged down bottom-placed Pune Supergiants with spin before Yusuf Pathan guided the hosts to victory in the rain-hit game

ipl Updated: May 15, 2016 02:48 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Yusuf Pathan (centre) joins in the celebrations of spinner Piyush Chawla. Pathan was again on top with the bat as he carried KKR to an eight-wicket win over bottom-placed Rising Pune Supergiants.(Subhendu Ghosh/HT)

The sledgehammer that passes off as a bat in Yusuf Pathan’s hands ensured that it wouldn’t be a long night despite an over two-hour delay. After Ravichandran Ashwin had Robin Uthappa stumped and Gautam Gambhir leg-before, Rising Pune Supergiants, it seemed, would make a match of this rain-curtailed tie. Pathan had other ideas.

Set a revised target of 66 in nine overs, Kolkata Knight Riders were nine for two after the first over. Pathan decided to take on Ashok Dinda and then the rest. Dinda went for 13 after Pathan smacked one through midwicket and then Manish Pandey edged another boundary to take the pressure off.

It lifted totally when Ashwin came for the innings’ third over. Two sixes, the second off a carom ball, and two fours from Pathan’s bat meant there would only be one winner. Ashwin conceded 22 and after the nor’wester, it was the Pathan storm that hit Eden. Pathan made 37 off 18 balls with four fours and three sixes.

Even if it hadn’t rained, the home team was in charge. They had applied the slow choke when the match was stopped four balls into the 18th over with Rising Pune Supergiants on 103/6. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was batting on eight and uncharacteristically it had come off 22 balls nary a four or six.

Gambhir had welcomed him with a forward short-leg, silly point, two slips and a short cover. With the Eden coincidentally starting a Mexican wave and the chant ‘KKR, KKR’ reverberating across the terraces, this sure was an intimidating welcome.

Piyush Chawla was bowling the leg-spinner like he was born to do it and having scalped George Bailey, the Knights tightened the noose. When Sunil Narine was finally given a bowl in the 12th over, Gambhir eased up things just a bit. That is he gave the mystery bowler a short-leg, two slips and a silly point to bowl to Dhoni.

Except for a 41-run stand between Bailey and Saurabh Tiwary, the visitors lost wickets regularly. For the KKR bowlers, it was good to be home, finally.