Kolkata get IPL off to cracking start

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The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League got off to an impressive start on Wednesday as the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the defending champions, Mumbai Indians, by 41 runs in Abu Dhabi.

The seventh edition of the Indian Premier League got off to an impressive start on Wednesday as the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the defending champions, Mumbai Indians, by 41 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Kolkata batted first and while they got off to a slow start, half tons from Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey saw them record 163 for five. Mumbai were then thwarted by spinner Sunil Narine, who took four wickets to restrict Mumbai to 122 for seven.

Kolkata won the toss and chose to bat first, sending Kallis is with Gautam Gambhir. The India veteran's quest to regain his national place did not go to plan, as he was out for an eight-ball duck to Lasith Malinga, who yorked him.

This left Kallis and Pandey to settle the knock, and they went at a sedate pace initially. Kallis seemed to be finding his feet after a long while since his most recent game, when he retired from international cricket.

But he eventually found his rhythm and picked up the pace, recording his half ton off 37 balls, while Pandey made his off 42. They pushed the score to 135 after 17 overs, before Pandey was out for 64, also bowled by Malinga.

The Sri Lankan went on to take four wickets, removing Kallis for 72 in his next over, and then Shakib-al-Hasan for one. But the former Proteas star had done enough to record a defendable total.

Mumbai's chase got off to a poor start when Mike Hussey, newly of Chennai, was bowled by Narine for three. From there on, only three batsmen made it into double figures, with Aditya Tare the next to fall, having made 24.

Ambhati Rayudu was the top scorer for the defending champs, making 48 off 40 balls before being stumped off Narine. The other player to get into double figures was Rohit Sharma, who made 27 before being caught by Kallis off countryman Morne Morkel.

From there, Narine bamboozled the batsmen, bowling two more out (Corey Anderson and Harbhajan Singh) and in the end his fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard was left alone in the middle on seven as the Knight Riders departed, victorious.

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