Kolkata, May 18 (UNI) Stung by the intial havoc wreaked by the South African speester Makhaya Ntini, Kolkata Knight Riders stemmed the rot riding on a solid third wicket partnership between Salman Butt (73) and Debabrata Das (27) to post a respectable 149 for five in the DLF-IPL T20 cricket match against Chennai Super Kings at the Eden Gardens here today.
Though Riders skipper Sourav Ganguly won the toss and decided to bat first, Ntini bowled a dream spell chipping in two prize scalps of skipper Ganguly and Mohd Hafeez with just 28 runs on the board.
Ganguly was castled by Nitni on his individual score of two, while Hafeez was caught by Gony also off Nitni on Six.
At the time when Riders were literally tottering at 28 for two, opener Salman Butt and local lad Debabrata Das took charge and hit the Chennai bowlers all over the field and their rocksolid 86 runs off 67 balls gave a semblance of respectability to the total.
Butt's swashbuckling 73 was studded with 10 rollicking hits to the fence and a towering six in just 54 balls.
But Ntini again struck with a vengeance and returned Das to the pavilion followed by David Hussey.
Hussey, who was in fine nick, could not strike a purple patch today and was out for duck off Ntini.
Muralitharan got some severe sticks from the Riders and returned with a figure of 41 runs in four overs.
Chennai captain Dhoni injured himself while keeping against the bowling of Ntini and Parthiv Patel took the charge behind the stumps.
Today's match was a do or die battle for the Riders and a win could only ensure their sailing to the semis.
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