IPL 2016: Yusuf Pathan shines as Kolkata thrash Pune in rain-hit contest

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Kolkata, May 14: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) tonight (May 14) jumped to 2nd spot in the team standings after Yusuf Pathan powered them to an 8-wicket win against Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in a rain-affected tie of the Indian Premier League 2016 (IPL 9). (Match Scorecard)

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The in-form Pathan (37 off 18) helped KKR make short work of the Duckworth-Lewis target of 66 runs. The hosts had 9 overs to get home but Pathan ensured they raced to the finishing line in just 5 overs.

File photo: Yusuf Pathan hit 37 not out off 18 balls

Pune had earlier struggled to 103 for six when rain stopped play for a little more than two hours. The win pushed KKR to second spot in the standings with 14 points from 11 games. Pune, who are out of the competition, remained at the bottom of the table.

The start to the short chase was exciting with Pune's premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin dismissing openers Robin Uthappa and opposition captain Gautam Gambhir in the very first over of the innings.

Uthappa was stumped on a viciously turning ball that ended up being a wide on the leg side while Gambhir was foxed by a straighter one off Ashwin.

In walked Pathan and tilted the game in his team's over by hammering Ashwin for two sixes and as many fours in his second over, also settling the nerves in the KKR dug out. Eventually, he got the team home comfortably in the company of Manish Pandey (15 off 10).

Earlier, KKR had Pune in a real spot of bother with the visitors struggling to 103/6 in 17.4 overs when rain interrupted play at the Eden Gardens.

Legspinner Piyush Chawla claimed 2/21 with 13 dot balls while offie Sunil Narine, returning after two matches, gave away a miserly 10 runs from 3.4 overs bowling 14 dot balls to win the spin battle against MS Dhoni and Co.

With KKR spinners making full use of the conditions, the otherwise devastating Dhoni crawled to eight runs from 22 balls, as his counterpart Gautam Gambhir relished the challenge, deploying four fielders around the Indian skipper.

Pune at one stage were at 70/3 and when Dhoni walked in they were 74/4 in 10.3 overs but by the time the rain interrupted the proceedings their run-rate had slipped to less than six.

Opting to bat on a turning surface, Pune failed to get going at the top with Russell giving the first breakthrough in the third over.

Trying to hit across the line, Rahane (two) played on a wide delivery as Russell gave KKR a perfect start bowling in tandem with More Morkel for four overs.

PTI

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