A sterling start from Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa at the top of the order and a good final flourish by Yusuf Pathan towards the end saw Kolkata Knight Riders get to a formidable 180 for six in the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) 2014 final against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Despite the frontline bowlers going for plenty for plenty, Pawan Negi’s exceptional bowling, finishing with figures of five for 22 restricted KKR somewhat in the latter overs.
After a rather sedate CLT20, Gambhir came to form in style and the usually reliable CSK bowlers took quite a beating and the KKR skipper drove and pulled majestically to all parts of the ground to leave MS Dhoni a frustrated figure. Amply supported by the Indian Premier League (IPL) top scorer Robin Uthappa , the top order raced to close to the hundred mark in the first 10 overs.
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It was Dhoni’s trusted aide, Ravindra Jadeja who pegged the run-rate back with his own brand of left-arm spin before Negi bamboozled batsmen with his flight, turn and variations on a pitch that did help the slower bowlers. The total may still be chased down by the mighty CSK batsmen, but for a KKR team who have shown no sign of slowing down.
By R Vishal