Kallis stars for Kolkata Knight Riders

Jacques Kallis hit his second half-century in a row to set up a nine-run win for the Kolkata Knight Riders against the Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League on Monday.

Kallis (35) hit seven fours and a six in his 45-ball 53 as Kolkata piled on 163-4 before restricting Deccan to 154-8 off 20 overs on a slow Eden Gardens track.

This was the first victory for Kolkata in the Twenty20 tournament after having lost to Chennai by two runs in their opening match last week.

Kallis also picked up four catches to cap a fine day in the middle.

Left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah gave Kolkata an early breakthrough, removing Ishank Jaggi in the third over before Rajat Bhatia grabbed the key wicket of skipper Kumar Sangakkara (16) to reduce Deccan to 53-3 in the ninth over.

Deccan could never really recover from the early setbacks, succumbing to their second defeat in as many matches despite a fighting 48 by Bharat Chipli.

Abdullah finished with 3-24 while Bhatia and Jaidev Unadkat took two wickets each.

Kallis, opening the innings, gave a flying start to Kolkata after captain Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to bat.

The all-rounder raced to the 50-run mark with a six off his South Africa teammate JP Duminy but was out the next ball as he attempted to clear midwicket again.

Gambhir, who batted at an unusual number six against Chennai, promoted himself up the order and shared 43 runs off just 26 balls with Manoj Tiwary (30 not out) for the third wicket.

Gambhir (29) was bowled by legspinner Amit Mishra, the most impressive among Deccan bowlers with two wickets for 19 runs off his fours overs.

Big-hitting Yusuf Pathan hit a typically aggressive 22 off 15 balls in a late assault to prop up Kolkata’s total.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 163-4 in 20 overs (J Kallis 53, M Tiwary 30 not out, G Gambhir 29; A Mishra 2-19) beat Deccan Chargers 154-8 in 20 overs (B Chipli 48; Iqbal Abdulla 3-24, R Bhatia 2-29, J Unadkat 2-36)—Sapa-AFP

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