Ross Taylor crafts Royal Challengers’ win (Lead)

May 12th, 2009 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Ross Taylor Centurion, May 12 (IANS) Bangalore Royal Challengers kept alive their hopes of making the Indian Premier League (IPL) semi-final with a six-wicket victory over bottom-placed Kolkata Knight Riders at the Centurion Park here Tuesday.
Riding on skipper Brendon McCullum’s unbeaten 84 off 64 balls, Knight Riders made 173 for four in 20 overs. But Man of the Match Ross Taylor blasted a 33-ball 81 as Royal Challengers posted 176 for four in 19.2 overs.

With the win, Royal Challengers moved to the fifth spot in the IPL with 10 points from 11 matches. Knight Riders’, who have no chance of making the semis, slumped to their ninth overall and seventh consecutive loss.

Having set a 174-run target for Royal Challengers, Knight Riders looked in sight of a win, but poor bowling let them down once again. Spinners Ajantha Mendis (1-21) and Murali Kartik (2-28) were successful, while quickies Ishant Sharma, Ajit Agarkar and Angelo Matthews were punished hard by the Royal Challengers’ batsmen for their wayward bowling.

Jacques Kallis (32) and Jesse Ryder (22) gave Royal Challengers a runaway start as 50 runs came by the seventh over. Kartik picked up Kallis and Uthappa (7) to pull back things a bit in Knight Riders’ favour.

But Taylor came out all guns blazing and spanked the Knight Riders’ bowlers to all parts of the ground. He hit seven fours and five sixes during his knock.

Royal Challengers needed 40 runs from the last three overs, but Ishant gave away 19 runs in the 18th over and Agarkar was tonked for 16 in the 19th, as Knight Riders failed to defend their challenging total.

Put in to bat, McCullum helped Knight Riders overcome a shaky start and was involved in two crucial partnerships with David Hussey (43) and Angelo Matthews (16) as the team posted its highest total in the second edition of the IPL. McCullum’s 64-ball innings was studded with 10 fours and two sixes.

Bangalore pacers justified skipper Anil Kumble’s decision to bowl first as double strikes from B. Vinay Kumar reduced Knight Riders to 21/2 in the fifth over. Both Sourav Ganguly (4) and Arindam Ghosh, who was promoted up the order, edged Vinay Kumar to wicket-keeper Mark Boucher.

With two wickets down, McCullum slowed down and with Hussey, who was playing his first match in the current IPL, stitched a crucial 70-run partnership for the third wicket. McCullum relied on the ones and two while the big shots came off Hussey’s blade. Hussey hit three fours and two sixes in his 27-ball stay.

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