Kolkata off the mark with win over Bangalore

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The Kolkata Knight Riders broke their 2012 Indian Premier League duck with a fine 42-run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.

The Kolkata Knight Riders broke their 2012 Indian Premier League duck with a fine 42-run victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.

Unable to trump the Delhi Daredevils nor the Rajasthan Royals in their first two matches of the tournament, it was a case of third time fortunate for Gautam Gambhir's side.

Taking Bangalore's decision to bowl first in his nonchalant stride, captain Gambhir led from the front at the top of the knock with a fine half-century. His 64, nine fours and a six included, was amassed off a mere 39 deliveries. Manvinder Bisla, meanwhile, weighed in with a complementary 46 from 29.

The hard graft of Gambhir and Bisla, though, was soon laid to waste as the Knight Riders fell from 125 for one to a final total of 165 for eight. They would have wanted at least 190 on the back of their captain and his sidekick's sound foundation.

Unperturbed by the early jolt, the Royal Challengers attack put in a fine collective effort. New-ball seamers Vinay Kumar and Zaheer Khan complemented spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Daniel Vettori superbly as the opposition the middle- through lower-order floundered.

Batsmen four through eight managed a mere 15 runs between them. The early dismissal of Irfan Pathan was particularly key, while Shakib Al Hasan and Ryan ten Doeschate's return to the starting XI failed to inspire.

Regardless, Kolkata's iffy total proved to be more than enough in the end.

For all the hype that surrounded his return from injury, Chris Gayle flattered to deceive. The hard-hitting West Indian was outfoxed by Jacques Kallis, who got rid of the dangerman for a mere two.

Lakshmipathy Balaji then tucked into four overs that epitomised fluid Twenty20 bowling to a tee. The seamer hardly gave an inch, clinching figures of four for 18 for the Man of the Match award. The veritable peach of a line and length that castled AB de Villiers was very impressive.

With the specialist batsman back in the dugout ruing a very poor day at the office, the all-rounders and tail-enders attempted to delay the inevitable. Their defiance was shortlived, as an asking rate bordering on 30 runs per over loomed large.

123 for nine was ultimately as much as the Royal Challengers could muster, with the result seeing them fall to seventh in the nine-team standings, while Kolkata rose to fifth.

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