Late charge by mercurial Chris Gayle (86 off 58 balls) went in vain as Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 47 runs in their return leg Indian Premier League fixture at Eden Gardens on Saturday.
Gayle smacked six maximums and seven boundaries in his another brilliant knock but it turn out to be too little too late. The rising asking rate was too much for the Royal Challengers batsmen as they managed only 143/6 in their 20 overs.
Kolkata spinners had a field day as they didn't allowed Bangalore to cut loose in the entire match except for Gayle storm in the end. West Indies spinner Sunil Narine was the most miser among the lots as he conceded only 11 runs in his four overs and took the wicket of Mayank Agarwal.
Yusuf Pathan (1-19) too finished with impressive economy rate of 4.75 in his four overs, whereas Jacques Kallis took two important Bangalore wickets in his 4 overs spell.
Chasing a massive 191-run target, Bangalore lost wickets at crucial junctures and didn't look capable of reaching the target during the entire innings.
Rajat Bhatia scalped Saurabh Tiwary (19) in the 13th over to reduce Bangalore to 77/4 in 12.5 overs. Tiwary put on 43 runs for the fourth wicket with Gayle and hit a six and a four in his 22-ball innings before the left-hander mistime Bhatia's delivery.
Bangalore chase started on the wrong foot as they lost three top-order batsmen inside six overs.
Jacque Kallis struck twice in consecutive deliveries to dismiss in-form AB de Villiers (0) and Virat Kohli (18) in the sixth over as Bangalore struggled in their run chase.
Kohli hit three boundaries in his sedate 19-ball innings.
Spinner Yusuf Pathan gave Kolkata an early breakthrough when he dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan (2) in the very first over to reduce Bangalore to 2/1 in 0.6 overs.
Electing to bat, skipper Gautam Gambhir smashed 93 off 51 balls to help Knight Riders post massive 191-run target for Royal Challengers.
Gambhir hit five huge sixes and nine boundaries in his whirlwind knock to lead the hosts from the front. The skipper added impressive 95 runs with Brendon McCullum (43) - their highest opening stand for the season - to set a brilliant platform for the latter batsmen.
McCullum played a perfect foil for Gambhir as he smashed eight boundaries in his 37-ball knock.
Veteran Jacques Kallis too came to party in the end as the South African batsman smacked three massive sixes and a four in his quick-fire 27-ball 41 innings.
For Bangalore, pacer Vinay Kumar (2-31) took two Kolkata wickets whereas skipper Daniel Vettori (1-29) and Zaheer Khan (1-48) claim a wicket each.
Kolkata skipper completed his fifty off 28 balls soon after McCullum's wicket. The left-hander hit a six and eight boundaries in his quick-fire knock.
Riding on Gambhir's exploits Knight Riders raced to hundred in just 11.3 overs.
Bangalore captain Daniel Vettori clean bowled compatriot McCullum in the 11th over to provide his team a crucial breakthrough. McCullum hit two consecutive fours off Vettori before the latter got better of him.
Gambhir and McCullum started the Kolkata innings aggressively. The openers added 46 runs in the first powerplay overs as Kolkata raced to fifty in 6.2 overs.
Earlier, Knight Riders skipper Gambhir won the toss and decided to bat against Royal Challengers.
Kolkata bring in Iqbal Abdulla in place of half-fit Laxmipathy Balaji in the playing XI.
Daniel Vettori is back to lead the Bangalore side, after his injury concerns in the previous game, as he replaces Andrew McDonald in the squad.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Brendon McCullum, Manvinder Bisla (wk), Jacques Kallis, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Debabrata Das, Rajat Bhatia, Sunil Narine, Brett Lee, Iqbal Abdulla.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers (wk), Saurabh Tiwary, R Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Harshal Patel, KP Apanna.