Royal Challengers Bangalore Innings
So in the end, a comprehensive victory for Kolkata. Man of the Match Gautam Gambhir set it up, his superb innings of 93 - and big partnerships with McCullum and Kallis - taking Kolkata to a big total of a track that is not considered to be too easy to bat on. Bangalore lost Dilshan in the first over itself, and any hopes they had ended after a double blow from Kallis saw Kohli and de Villiers out in the space of two deliveries. Gayle stayed until the end but left it too late to up the run-rate, and with no one else providing him with any bit of support, KKR were never in any danger. In fact, Iqbal Abdulla - brought into the team for this game - was not needed at all! The win consolidates second place for Kolkata, who are just one point behind leaders Delhi. Bangalore, meanwhile, stay fourth with 9 points, though their run-rate has taken a bit of a battering today. That's it from us, join us tomorrow for another double header from the IPL!
20th over: 143 for 6. KOLKATA WIN BY 47 RUNS. Gayle smacks a four to get the Orange Cap for himself, but he is caught-behind off the penultimate delivery. RCB would never have imagined they would finish so far behind KKR's score if Gayle stayed at the crease until the final over. As it is though, Vinay Kumar cannot score off the final ball, 5 runs come from that over, and RCB finish on 143-6, well behind the target of 191. An easy and emphatic win for KKR!
C Gayle c McCullum b Shukla 86 (58)
19th over: 138 for 5. Where was the Chris Gayle for so long? Suddenly Gayle opens up his shoulders and Bhatia is the unfortunate victim. A one-handed swing goes for six, the next one is a four off a full toss, and then two huge sixes finish off the over. 23 runs off that over, the best one for RCB by far. Honestly, why did Gayle leave it so late? They need 53 off the last six balls!
18th over: 115 for 5. Excellent delivery from Narine and Agarwal is bowled. Vettori walks in, but there's very little he can do now. 76 runs needed from 12 balls, the required run-rate is 38!
M Agarwal b Narine 10 (13)
17th over: 111 for 4. This is really too late. Three boundaries for Gayle off Kallis, and he reaches his half-century in the process. But it's been a very subdued un-Gayle innings, in fact, and the early wickets never helped RCB's cause.
16th over: 98 for 4. Gayle smacks a full toss by Lee over long-on, nearly hitting Manoj Tiwary but most certainly battering a laptop kept there. There haven't been enough such shots from Gayle though, it's been a strange sort of innings from the big West Indian. RCB need 93 runs off 24 balls at 23.25 an over. The game is merely petering out to a predictable end now.
15th over: 87 for 4. Narine is continuing his good form in this IPL. Just 2 runs off that over. RCB need 104 runs off 30 balls. Even a Gayle storm may not be enough to save them now. Owner Vijay Mallya is watching, looking most displeased.
14th over: 85 for 4. Agarwal cuts for four, but even one boundary an over is not enough now. Gayle, meanwhile, has 35 off 34. One would not have expected him to stay quiet for so long. Normally if Gayle is at the crease, the score looks a lot better! For now though, KKR are firmly on course for a big win.
13th over: 78 for 4. Gayle shows exactly what he can do, smashing a huge six over long-on. Tiwary imitates him and goes over long-on, but he is out the next ball. He was trying to repeat his six but it only went as far as Gambhir to point. 113 runs required from 42 balls. Mayank Agarwal comes in.
S Tiwary c Gambhir b Bhatia 19 (22)
12th over: 64 for 3. Still no boundaries, only 4 runs off Narine's over. The required run-rate is 16. What can Gayle do?
11th over: 59 for 3. If RCB are planning go on the rampage, this might be the time to start. The target is getting further and further away, as Rajat Bhatia keeps the runs off his first over down to just 3. His first ball saw Bhatia appeal for caught-behind when the ball was nowhere close. A bit silly.
10th over: 56 for 3. Kallis continues at the other end and the runs are still hard to come by for RCB. Gayle, though, does pull one for four. One wide and one no-ball in that over as well, the no-ball was especially ridiculous as the short one went over the big-framed Gayle! Still, only 9 runs off the over. At the half-way stage, RCB need 135 runs from 60 balls. Looking tough, even though Gayle is still there.
9th over: 47 for 3. Excellent over by Yusuf to end his spell. Just 1 run off it. RCB need 144 runs from 11 overs at 13.09 an over. Time-Out!
8th over: 46 for 3. Tiwary gets a much-needed boundary but it's another good over for KKR, this time from Kallis, who lbw appeal against Tiwary is turned down. RCB are in danger of falling far too behind the asking rate. A typical Gayle storm may be the only hope for them now!
7th over: 38 for 3. Expectedly, the RCB batsmen are cautious and Pathan gets away by conceding just 3 runs in his third over. 18 runs off 3 overs with one wicket for Pathan, and he's the man who started things off in the very first over itself.
6th over: 35 for 3. This might just be the over that ended RCB's hopes. Kohli is trapped lbw and has to leave, much to his frustration, but Kallis really puts his side on top with the wicket of de Villiers off the very next ball. The South African tried to hoick that short ball, he only manages to top edge it to mid-on. Saurabh Tiwary survives the hat-trick ball, Gayle is still there at the other end, but things are not looking good for the visitors right now.
V Kohli lbw b Kallis 18 (19)
AB de Villiers c Shukla b Kallis 0 (1)
5th over: 32 for 1. Some controversy here. Narine is appealing against Kohli. The umpires finally decide to go upstairs and the replays show McCullum's gloves dislodged the bails, not the ball. Neither is Kohli caught-behind, nor is he bowled. He survives. Excellent over though, just 1 run off it.
4th over: 31 for 1. Kohli gets into the act. Two great fours, one through extra cover, one to third man, though that wasn't very good fielding on the last boundary.
3rd over: 22 for 1. Oh, Gayle is dropped! Will that prove costly? The ball goes high up in the air, Sunil Narine is the man under it, and he drops a sitter. Gayle had just smacked a six off Pathan too. 13 runs off that over, a costly one in every way for KKR.
2nd over: 9 for 1. Brett Lee is on at the other end, and he keeps Gayle and Kohli quiet till the last ball, a wide ball which the West Indian easily hits for four. The required run-rate is already in double figures though.
1st over: 2 for 1. This is not the start Bangalore needed, chasing such a big score. Yusuf Pathan takes the ball and he strikes with his final delivery, Tillakaratne Dilshan only able to find the man at mid-off. More pressure on Gayle already.
T Dilshan c Bhatia b Pathan 1 (3)
Kolkata Knight Riders Innings
20th over: 190 for 4. Kallis is dismissed after a good catch by Patel at fine leg, but this is all too little, too late for RCB. Yusuf Pathan, meanwhile, makes his presence felt in the final over, with a massive six over mid-wicket. He is caught off the last ball at deep square-leg, but RCB face a stiff chase, and they will need their big stars in Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli to fire just like Gambhir has done for KKR.
J Kallis c Patel b Vinay Kumar 41 (27)
Y Pathan c Dilshan b Vinay Kumar 7 (4)
19th over: 181 for 2. Gambhir misses his hundred, but it's been a wonderful innings from him. Zaheer Khan gets his man finally, Gambhir tries to go over cover but find Appanna at long-off. If RCB were hoping for any relief though, there is none. Kallis bludgeons two huge sixes to take KKR closer to the 200-run mark.
G Gambhir c Appanna b Khan 93 (51)
18th over: 167 for 1. Any over which goes for less than 10 is a bonus for RCB and Vinay Kumar does well to restrict Gambhir and Kallis. Just 7 runs off the over, including a wide. Bangalore need more such overs if they are to keep KKR to under 200.
17th over: 160 for 1. Gambhir is only dealing in sixes now. Short one from Harshal Patel and it is pulled by the KKR skipper over mid-wicket. He has 90 runs off 46 balls, with 9 fours and 5 sixes. The hundred is definitely possible now. Meanwhile, Kallis is not to be left behind. He thumps it over long-on for a huge six. 16 runs off that over. There were concerns over the pitch and the role of the spinners before the match started, but Gambhir has made a mockery of it all with his blistering innings.
16th over: 144 for 1. Another bad delivery, this time for Vettori, and the result is the same. Another six for Gambhir. RCB are looking ragged out on the field, they seem to have no answers to Gambhir.
15th over: 134 for 1. Kallis resumes proceedings after the Time-Out with a thick edge over slips for a four. Gambhir finishes the over with a six. Zaheer Khan had kept him quiet until then, but this was a poor delivery and Gambhir pulls it with ease. This is an excellent innings from Gambhir, and he is taking Kolkata towards a big total here. How many can KKR get off the last 5?
14th over: 121 for 1. No boundary, only 5 runs conceded... Excellent over by Harshal Patel. He took the pace off the ball and it worked for this over at least.
13th over: 116 for 1. They almost get the wicket too! Gambhir goes for the big one, Vinay Kumar dives, but he makes a mess of it and Gambhir gets a four. Things are going KKR's way for now.
12th over: 107 for 1. Gambhir is going great guns at the other end. He brings up his half-century and then gets his second six, this time a huge one off Appanna over deep mid-wicket. A big score is on the cards, though Gambhir's wicket might help RCB slow things down.
11th over: 96 for 1. Finally some success for Bangalore! McCullum hammers two fours, but Vettori gets his man, who gets an inside edge off trying to cut that ball. Jacques Kallis is the new man, but what a superb opening partnership this has been for KKR.
B McCullum b Vettori 43 (37)
10th over: 87 for 0. No wickets lost at the half-way mark, and the Eden crowd will be loving this. Harshal Patel gets the ball and is greeted with a magnificent six by Gambhir, who lifts the ball above mid-wicket. McCullum gets lucky after that, his inside edge off a slower delivery missing the runs and reaching the fence. 14 runs off that over.
9th over: 73 for 0. McCullum gets into the act now. A short one from Vettori gets the treatment before the New Zealand batsman comes down the track for a four. KKR are on course for a big total here, and this is not a track that has generally proved conducive to chasing. Troubling times for RCB.
8th over: 65 for 0. Things are not looking good for Bangalore and they are not very happy with the ball either. Tillakaratne Dilshan, meanwhile, is cut by Gambhir for yet another four. When was the last over when Gambhir did not find the boundary? Then there is a loud appeal against McCullum but the umpire is not interested. Meanwhile, Bangalore get their way and the ball is changed.
7th over: 55 for 0. Not very good bowling from Vinay Kumar here. Gambhir goes on the back-foot for a cracking four, before sloppy fielding from Zaheer Khan allows Brendon McCullum to pick up a boundary as well. Good start by KKR, the fifty is up.
6th over: 46 for 0. Appanna keeps it down to six off the over, with Gambhir getting his sixth four of his short stay at the crease so far. The KKR skipper seems unhappy with the chat from behind the wickets and has a talk with the umpires. The bowler, meanwhile, are not pleased with the wet ball. Probably a good time to take the Time-Out.
5th over: 40 for 0. Vinay Kumar is the next bowler to try his luck, but Gambhir is undeterred and he gets yet another boundary. He almost loses his wicket off the last ball though, but his shot falls short of Zaheer Khan at mid-on.
4th over: 33 for 0. KKR are getting a move on now. KR Apanna comes on and though there is only one boundary off the over, two wides and some quick running gets the home side 10 runs off the over.
3rd over: 23 for 0. As quiet as the previous over was, this one has all the action! Harshal Patel almost pulls off a blinding catch at the third-man boundary but Gambhir gets his four. He gets another boundary before being dropped once more, this time Gayle at gully failing to reach the ball. Zaheer Khan is not looking himself, as he hasn't for most of this tournament in fact.
2nd over: 13 for 0. Spin into the attack early, as Vettori brings himself on. The ball is already doing a little, and Gambhir adopts a cautious approach. Only 2 runs off that over.
1st over: 11 for 0. Brendon McCullum gets things underway for KKR, getting a four off Zaheer Khan's first delivery. Gambhir times the final ball to perfection to finish the over with another four.
7:40pm: The captains are out, and the news from the centre is that KKR have won the toss and have elected to bat first. Skipper Gautam Gambhir says it's time to test the batsmen and see how the bowlers perform under pressure while defending a total. Speaking of which, KKR have included two spinners in their side, Iqbal Abdulla and Sunil Narine. For RCB, skipper Daniel Vettori is back in place of Andrew McDonald. So spin is clearly going to play a big part in today's game!
Kolkata Knight Riders: Brendon McCullum (wk), Gautam Gambhir (captain), Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Debabrata Das, Rajat Bhatia, Laxmi Shukla, Sunil Narine, Brett Lee, Iqbal Abdulla
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers (wk), Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Daniel Vettori (captain), Zaheer Khan, Vinay Kumar, Harshal Patel, KP Appanna
7:25pm: Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Match No. 38 of this season's Indian Premier League, with Kolkata Knight Riders set to face off with Royal Challengers Bangalore at Eden Gardens in a short while.
Both teams will be eager to get back on the field after their previous matches were washed out due to rain. Eden Gardens in particular suffered due to heavy rain and thunderstorms, which even a makeshift roof at the venue to collapse. Let's hope there's no repeat of that today, and the weather holds up to allow a good game of cricket for the crowd.
Both teams are level on points after 8 games played, and will be looking to move up the table and close the gap on leaders Delhi Daredevils with a strong performance today. The first match between the two went in Kolkata's favour, but Bangalore have really kicked on since then. So, with an evenly-matched clash on the cards, we're just waiting for the toss and the teams now!