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Kolkata knock out Bangalore to enter IPL-7 playoffs

photo by Agency photo

Shakib Al Hasan attempts a scoop during the IPL 2014 match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Kolkata on Thursday.

By Agency
23rd-May-2014       
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Kolkata Knight Riders completed a stunning combeack in IPL-7 as their sixth consecutive win on Thursday booked them a place the playoffs. KKR beat Royal Challengers Bangalore who bowed out of the tournament after suffering a 30-run defeat - their eighth of the season.
Put in to bat by RCB skipper Virat Kohli in the crunch game, Kolkata scored a mammoth 195/4 - thanks to Robin Uthappa (83* off 51 balls) and Shakib Al Hasan (60 off 38) who scored blistering half-centuries and added 121 runs in double quick time.
Chasing a stiff target, RCB were never in the chase and were always behind the nine ball, allowing the asking rate to climb steeply. Sunil Narine then weaved his magic taking two wickets in an over twice to break the back of RCB batting.
The win took KKR to 16 points and third on the points table - pushing Rajasthan Royals to No. 4
Earlier, KKR lost early wickets, but in-form Uthappa and Shakib helped them to recover and power the, to 195 for 4. Skipper Gautam Gambhir (4), Manish Pandey (13) and Yusuf Pathan were out inside ten overs leaving KKR in spot of bother. Yusuf did play a few eye-catching shots, but unfortunately did not made most of his start and was run out 22 off 13 balls. He smashes a boundary and two six in his innings.
It was Uthappa show once again as he showcased his class and surely made his point of returning back to Indian team. He played shots all over the ground and entertained the Eden cowd to the fullest along with Bangladesh's Shakib. He went on to complete his second half-century in a row in 34 balls, while Shakib joined the party and kept the home side in the hunt for a sixth consecutive win. Uthappa made 83 not out for them. On the the other hand, Shakib too shone brightly.
With the wicket keeping low and affording turn, Kohli brought in his spinners to make further inroads. But Uthappa joining hands with Shakib scored at a brisk rate to take the score past 100 in the 12th over. Even as Uthappa reached his fifth half century of the season, Shakib tore into leggie Chahal scoring 24 runs of his last over, including three massive hits into the crowd, as KKR galloped to 150 for 3 in the 16 over.
Kohli continued to juggle round his bowlers but in vain as Uthappa and Shakib, who have been revelations for the Knights notched up their century stand in just 61 balls. Continuing his good run, Shakib scored his first half century of the season in just 32 balls. The 121 run partnership for the fourth wicket was broken when Shakib was bowled by Nechim for 60. The Knights scored an impressive 45 runs in the last four overs losing just a wicket.

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