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Kolkata Knight Riders 183 for 5 (Tiwary 75*, Ganguly 50) beat Kings XI Punjab144 for 6 (Sangakkara 30) by 39 runs

Manoj Tiwary exploded after a slow start and Sourav Ganguly hit a composed half-century to boost Kolkata to 183 which proved beyond the reach of the listless Punjab. It was a mediocre game, especially from Punjab who crawled almost painfully in the chase.

It made for a strange viewing as no one took ownership of the chase and the game kept running away from Punjab. Yuvraj Singh and Manvinder Bisla hit a few boundaries early on in the piece but both fell to Ajit Agarkar - Manoj Tiwary held on to a spending running catch at deep midwicket to remove Yuvraj - and the chase started to slowly derail. What really surprised was the approach of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, who allowed the pressure to mount. They didn't go for any big shots and left themselves with too much to do in the end. With the run-rate mounting at an exponential rate, both fell, going for high-risk shots: Jayawardene moved outside off stump and couldn't connect with the intended paddle shot and Sangakkara was stumped, as he lost balance while going for a reverse slog. Game over.

The match, though, was set up by Kolkata's batting, led by Ganguly and Tiwary. It was an interesting innings: just when it felt Kolkata was letting things slip, they would attack. Their batting graph resembled a sine curve: Kolkata attacked at the top before they suddenly lost steam and meandered for a while but they picked up the momentum after the first time-out. They slowed down once again near the end but Tiwary looted 21 runs in the final over, bowled by Irfan Pathan, to regain lost ground.

The start too was frenetic with Brett Lee's first over on comeback going for 19 runs. Chris Gayle hit some smashing drives but to be fair to the bowler, there was an edged boundary and a yorker that went for four byes as well. And when Ganguly went after Pathan in the second over, lifting him over cover and smashing him to the straight boundary, Kolkata had reached a healthy 27 for 0 but suddenly, against the run of play, they started to slow down.

Shalabh Srivastava struck for Punjab, removing Gayle with more than little help from Manvinder Bisla, who charged to his left on the deep square-leg boundary and lunged, even as the ball swerved away from him, to take a stunning two-handed catch. Ganguly collected a couple of boundaries but, with Tiwary struggling at the start, the run-rate started to dip. There were 27 dot balls in the first ten overs, nearly five full overs of stagnation, but the time-out allowed them to regroup and come out firing.

All of a sudden, Tiwary started finding his touch and two shots in particular showcased his skill. The first was against a near yorker-length delivery well outside off, he reached out to crash it to cover boundary. The second was even better. Ravi Bopara's yorker was heading towards off and middle, when Tiwary crouched to play a delicate late-cut to the third-man boundary. In between, he swung over midwicket, and backed away from the stumps to drive through off. Ganguly lashed out at Piyush Chawla, lofting and flaying him for boundaries and runs started to come in a flood.

However, they again lost momentum after the fall of Ganguly - hitting Chawla to long-off. From 124 for 2 in 14 overs, they slowed down to 162 for 4 in 19. Tiwary then took Pathan apart in the final over, smashing 21 runs with four boundaries - a pulled six after which he backed away to find the wide long-off boundary repeatedly. The brutal finish seemed to have sucked out the spirit from Punjab, who dawdled their way in the chase.

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