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Wed Apr 23 12:33:43 SAST 2014

Gambhir and Watson secure victories for their IPL teams

Sapa-AP | 06 May, 2012 12:350 Comments
Rajasthan Royals batsman Shane Warne plays a shot during the IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium in Mohali on May 5, 2012
Image by: AFP PHOTO / RAVEENDRAN / Gallo Images

Captain Gautam Gambhir and Brendon McCullum shared a decisive 113-run opening stand as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Pune Warriors by seven runs and Rajasthan Royals beat Kings XI Punjab by 43 runs in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.

Gambhir struck 56 and McCullum hit 42 as Kolkata set a competitive 150-5 in 20 overs after electing to bat at Eden Gardens.

Captain Sourav Ganguly (36) and allrounder Angelo Mathews (35) led the chase with a 73-run stand for the sixth wicket but Pune could manage only 143-8 in reply.

The Gambhir-McCullum partnership added 100 runs in only 10.2 overs but their dismissals in quick succession on a slower pitch allowed Pune to bounce back.

Gambhir smashed pace bowler Ashok Dinda for 22 runs off seven deliveries during his 36-ball innings which included two sixes and four boundaries.

Gambhir was caught by Mithun Manhas at long-off while trying to hoist a full toss from left-arm spinner Murali Kartik.

In the next over, New Zealander McCullum was trapped lbw by Sri Lanka allrounder Angelo Mathews while trying a paddle-sweep, but only after he had struck one six and five fours off 43 balls .

Pune started badly as openers Michael Clarke (1) and Robin Uthappa (18) were dismissed by South Africa paceman Marchant de Lange by the fourth over.

At 55-5, Ganguly and Mathews started Pune’s recovery.

Mathews hit three straight sixes against off-spinner Yusuf Pathan in the 15th over but the chase always looked difficult, especially after Ganguly’s departure.

Ganguly, who comes from Kolkata, hit one six and four boundaries.

It was the fifth consecutive loss for Pune, which is second from bottom with four wins and eight losses. Kolkata is second in the nine-team league with seven wins, three defeats and a no-result.

At Mohali, Australia allrounder Shane Watson stood out from among a clutch of batting performances with a whirlwind 36 off 17 balls with two sixes and four fours as Rajasthan scored a challenging 177-6 after electing to bat.

He then produced a spell of 2-22, which included the wicket of in-form opener Mandeep Singh, as Punjab was restricted to 134-8.

Rajasthan and Punjab have five wins each from 11 games.

Delhi Daredevils lead the table with eight wins and two losses.

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