Reported on: May 28, 2012 00:55 AM
Reported in: International
Dhaka, May 27 (UNB) - There were magnificent individual performances but it was Manvinder Bisla's 89 and Jacques Kallis' 69 that took Kolkata Knight Riders past Chennai Super Kings by 5 wickets and to the Indian Premier League podium for the first time ever, on Sunday.
Chasing a stiff target of 191, little known Bisla played the most defining innings of his life as smashed the CSK bowlers to all corners to notch up 89 off only 48 balls (8x4, 5x6) ably supported by Jacques Kallis (69, 49 balls, 7x4, 1x6) as most popular franchise of the cash-rich league finally lived upto its reputation.
The moment Manoj Tiwary hit Dwayne Bravo to the square leg boundary for the second successive boundary, the delirious KKR players were all into the ground as their principal owner Shah Rukh was engaged in a frenzied celebrations, according to agencies.
The day however belonged to Bisla wasn't supposed to play this match had Laxmipathy Balaji not suffered hamstring injury. The decision to drop Brendon McCullum was widely debated but the lad from Himachal Pradesh put all the speculation to rest as he emerged as an unlikely hero among the galaxy of stars.
Despite losing Gautam Gambhir early, Bisla played a blinder as he took on the CSK attack by the scruff of their neck. Four boundaries of an Albie Morkel over set the tone and couple of clean sixes of Ravichandran Ashwin meant that the Knights were certainly there in the match.
The best part was that Bisla-Kallis duo saw Ben Hilfenhaus' first spell without taking any risks and then launched into the other bowlers. As Bisla started spanking the CSK bowlers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni suddenly started worrying.
Earlier, Super Kings scored 190 for 3 in 20 overs.Suresh Raina's blitzkrieg and Mike Hussey's priceless knock helped defending champions Chennai Super Kings post a commendable 190 for three.
Opting to bat, Hussey (54, 43 balls, 4x4, 2x6) along with Murali Vijay (42, 32 balls, 4x4, 1x6) set the platform with blistering opening partnership of 87 runs. Raina (73, 38 balls, 3x4, 5x6) then complemented the opening duo's effort as he hit some of the biggest sixes in the tournament with a few of them flying out of the stadium. Along with Hussey, he added 73 in less than 7 overs.
Another highlight of the CSK innings was brilliant running between the wickets by trio of Hussey, Raina and Vijay on a humid Chennai evening. When it mattered most, the KKR attack flopped badly.
Laxmipathy Balaji's absence was felt as Brett Lee (0/42 in 4 overs) turned out to be very expensive as the trio of Hussey, Vijay and Raina took him to cleaners. Such was the pressure on Sunl Narine (0/37 in 4 overs) that he ended up with his worst figures in the tournament.
After quiet first two overs, the mayhem started in the third over bowled by Lee. Hussey first played a lofted shot over bowler's head for a boundary and then Vijay played his trademark shot over mid-wicket for another boundary.
In the very next over from Shakib Al Hasan, the seasoned Aussie first swept over fine leg and then played a reverse sweep as floodgates opened.
A desperate KKR skipper Gambhir had to bring in his trump card Sunil Narine early for an over but it was the sixth over bowled by Lee that shifted momentum in favour of 'Men in Yellow'. Both Vijay and Hussey hit Lee for a six each as CSK reached 50. The over from Lee cost KKR 19 runs.
Even more impressive was their running between the wickets as senior pro Hussey pushed Vijay for converting ones into twos. It needed an inspirational catch from Shakib Al Hasan in the deep to break the partnership as Vijay didn't get the required elevation off Rajat Bhatia's slower delivery.
The tempo however didn't drop as Raina brought up team's 100 with a huge six over deep mid-wicket off Kallis's bowling after Hussey had played a nice square-cut. Hussey reached his 50 off 38 balls.
As Raina went on a hitting spree, Hussey started playing the second fiddle until he played a cross-batted shot off Jacques Kallis' bowling.