An 80-run partnership from Yusuf Pathan and Manoj Tiwary proved the difference as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Deccan Chargers by 20 runs in Hyderabad on Tuesday night.
Pathan survived a couple of dropped catches to finish unbeaten on 47 from just 26 balls, including three fours and three sixes, while Tiwary was caught in the deep in the final over of the innings after contributing 33 from 28 deliveries.
The duo scored at ten runs per over during their partnership, which saw the Knight Riders to a highly competitive 169 for four after they’d been put in to bat.
Chargers opener Shikhar Dhawan struck a half-century in response, but never received the support he needed if the home side were going to kick on and reach their target.
Two wickets in three balls from Iqbal Abdulla saw Sunny Sohal (26) and Kumar Sangakkara depart, and when Australians Cameron White and Daniel Christian also fell in quick succession the chase never looked like coming off.
Dhawan was eventually bowled by Jacques Kallis for 54 from 45 deliveries, and Deccan finished on 149 for six after their 20 overs.
Earlier captain Gautam Gambhir’s 35 from 22 balls had added impetus to the Kolkata innings after Eoin Morgan and Kallis (31) had got the innings off to a steady but unspectacular start.
When Gambhir was well caught by Kumar Sangakkara off the bowling of Pragyan Ojha the innings lost momentum, but Pathan and Tiwary put it back on track with a strong partnership which made the Knight Riders firm favourites at the break.
Dale Steyn had returned to the Chargers’ line-up, while Kolkata handed a debut to Mark Boucher, who has replaced fellow wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in the squad for the remainder of the season.
The win took the Knight Riders to the top of the table where they lead the Mumbai Indians on net run rate, although Mumbai have a game in hand.
The Chargers remain in seventh place with just six points from nine matches. Cricket365