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Charge of the Knight Riders

Bapun Raz

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#1
The Knights were swift in putting to rest the
nightmare. After all the opening setback against
Chennai Super Kings on Friday wasn ’ t just fresh in the memory, it was also bringing back many
unpleasant memories. On Monday, the Kolkata
Knight Riders were men possessed, shining in their armour. A lmost everything from the toss onwards rolled in
Gautam Gambhir’ s favour. After electing to bat, the captain got a solid start from his openers, got one
of them to anchor the innings and found many
cameos around Jacques Kallis ’ s second successive half-century to reach a challenging total. Defending Smartly The other part of the job required cool execution of
plans through tight bowling and fielding. The
bowling veered between the good and the
ordinary, so did the fielding; and in the end, the
weight of runs proved too much for the Deccan
Chargers, who slipped to their second defeat on the trot. After suffering chiefly because of batting in three
painful years, the Knights have done some sensible
buying in this department this time. They were given another good start by Kallis and
fellow opener Manvinder Bisla. The polished South
African and the industrious wicketkeeper-batsman
from Himachal Pradesh have combined well in both
games so far. They made good use of the fielding restrictions in
the first six overs, hitting 46 with eight fours
between them. The Chargers, in contrast, made 30
for two during that period when they batted with
just four hits to the fence. The Knights made this advantage count and built
on it with their mixed bag of bowlers to carve out a
win team owner Shah Rukh Khan was craving for
from the balcony of his special box. Spin Attack If the Knights ’ batting was built around the rock called Kallis, their bowling was a team effort.
Opening proceedings for the second time, Iqbal
Abdullah did a smart job. The left-armer didn’ t extract as much spin as the visiting slow bowlers did, but kept things tight by
not offering width. These virtues are useful in any form of the game.
Unlike Deccan Chargers, the Knights don ’ t have big names in bowling at the moment. So they have to
make up for the lack of sting by making things
difficult for the batsmen by mixing it up. The variations provided by left and right-arm pace
and spin to go with some safe catching in the deep
when it mattered made it the Knights ’ night. Sterner tests lie ahead, but Gambhir’ s team will take heart that they look good for them.