Hyderabad: The Kolkata Knight Riders kept their all-win record in Hyderabad intact to hem in Hobart Hurricanes and canter into the Oppo Champions League Twenty20 final. The victory was fashioned by a partnership between youngster Manish Pandey and the seasoned Jacques Kallis. The two raised 63 runs in 50 balls for the third wicket as the KKR overhauled the modest 140 put up by the Hurricanes, with much to spare.
Kallis was unbeaten on a fluent 54 that included four boundaries and two sixes while Pandey’s forceful 40 (32 balls, 4×6, 1×6) had driven nails around the Australian side’s coffin.
Kolkata got off to a cautious start and scored at a sedate pace though. It did not help that they lost skipper Gautam Gambhir and in-form opener Robin Uthappa without much on the board.
The first six of their innings came in the 14th over, struck by Manish Pandey off Doug Bollinger.Pandey was also fortunate to stay in the middle after he had nicked pacer Ben Hilfenhaus to wicketkeeper Ben Dunk. He was asked to carry on after television replays found that the Australian’s foot had landed over the line while delivering the ball. The batsman was 22 and the side total read 82 for 2 in the 13th over then. Pandey feasted on the resultant free-hit, crashing it into the long-on boundary. He added 14 more before holing out to Shoaib Malik in the deep, off Ben Laughlin.
Earlier, Malik held the Hobart innings with a sublime 66 that was brought up in 46 balls. The Pakistan batsman started very slowly, taking 18 balls to reach double figures. He then turned up the heat to crack a few big shots – four boundaries and four sixes — to provide the impetus to the team’s total.
Opener Ben Dunk was the other Hobart batsman who held on to his wicket. He rattled off 39 in 29 balls, crashing four of them to fence and one over it before cutting Kuldeep Yadav straight to Gautam Gambhir.
Ducks by Dominic Michael and hard-hitter Aiden Blizzard took the wind out of the Hurricanes’ sails early in the innings. The former played out six balls, did not trouble the scorers and fell to Andre Russell’s brilliant diving catch in his follow through. The latter was adjudged leg before wicket to part-time spinner Yusuf Pathan. Hobart crawled for most part of their innings and stepped up the scoring rate only towards the finish, taking 21 runs off the 19th over bowled by Kuldeep Yadav.
Hobart Hurricanes: B. Dunk c Gambhir b Kuldeep Yadav 39, D. Michael c&b Russell 0, A. Blizzard lbw b Pathan 0, Shoaib Malik (not out) 66, T. Birt c ten Doeschate b Narine 13, J. Wells b Chawla 3, E. Gulbis (run out) 15, B. Hilfenhaus (not out) 0. Extras (b1, lb1, w2) 4. Total (for six wickets in 20 overs) 140.
FoW: 1-4, 2-13, 3-46, 4-77, 5-91, 6-135.
Bowling: Pathan 4-0-24-1, Russell 4-0-24-1, Narine 4-0-24-1, Kuldeep 4-0-31-1, Chawla 4-0-35-1.
Kolkata Knight Riders: R. Uthappa b Doherty 17, G. Gambhir c Wells b Bollinger 4, J. Kallis (not out) 54, M. Pandey c Shoaib Malik b Laughlin 40, Y. Pathan (not out) 14. Extras (w10, nb2) 12. Total (for three wickets in 19.1 overs) 141.
FoW: 1-20, 2-44, 3-107.
Bowling: Hilfenhaus 4-0-28-0, Bollinger 3.1-0-26-1, Doherty 4-0-28-1, Gulbis 4-0-23-0, Laughlin 4-0-36-1.
Man of the Match: Jacques Kallis