Knight Riders ease into IPL final

KOLKATA: Robin Uthappa prolonged a stellar season and took the record for the most runs scored by an Indian batsman in an IPL season. Gautam Gambhir, though scratchy with the bat, had helmed an impressive turnaround by Kolkata Knight Riders.

Knight Riders eased into the IPL final, Uthappa found a place for the ODI tour of Bangladesh and Gambhir could contemplate a Test comeback in England.

The jitters began when Manan Vohra, empowered by a few solid hits, miscued to long-on. His 26 off 19 had originally put Kings XI ahead on the rain rule but now they were four runs behind par. Glenn Maxwell’s attempts to dance around the crease to upset the bowler’s rhythm backfired when he was found plumb in front. Kings XI were 11 behind and the downward spiral steepened.

Umesh Yadav was not among those bound for England in July. His chosen way to vent was an opening spell of 2 for 12 in three overs. As rain persisted, the batsmen were uncertain regarding the length of the match and the approach they should employ. If they took undue risks and the game ended up lasting the 20 overs, they could end up without enough batsmen. If they didn’t press on, Knight Riders would clinch the game with ease.

Wriddhiman Saha and David Miller flailed at the crease, attempting to hit on the up and hack across the line, and by the time their struggle came to an end their side was more than 20 runs behind the Duckworth-Lewis equation.