HYDERABAD, India, CMC-IANS – Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Auckland Aces by two runs in their qualifying match of Pool-B in the Champions League Twenty20 yesterday.
Opting to bat first, Knight Riders made a good start, but a middle order collapse folded their innings for 121 for six in 20 overs in the second qualifier at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Manvinder Bisla was the top scorer with 45 and fellow opener, ace South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who is leading the side in the absence of injured Gautam Gambhir, made 33.
Run outs and two wickets from spinner Yusuf Pathan reduced Auckland Aces to 77 for five and they could only get to 119 for six in 20 overs. Lou Vincent was the top scorer with 40.
“It was a great win because we lost a couple of close games earlier,” said Kallis. “It was a great show by all guys, each one delivered that he needs to.
“We were a few runs short. Myself and Bisla…We got the team into a great position, but then it was not a 160-run pitch. We were batting under tough conditions.
The batting performance of both sides was disappointing. We should have scored 135 to 140 runs. The guys fought back and it was a great team spirit,” said Kallis.
Gareth Hopkins, losing captain of the Auckland Aces, said the result was disappointing for them.
“Because we came so close, but could not win,” he said. “We have a must-win game [on Tuesday] and we have a plan for this.”