|Scorecard:||Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders|
|Player:||LRPL Taylor, JH Kallis, BB McCullum, DJ Hussey|
|Event:||Indian Premier League 2009|
DateLine: 12th May 2009
A Kiwi spoilt a Kiwi's party. Ross Taylor played an astounding counter-attacking knock to lead Bangalore Royal Challengers to a magnificent six-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders, after a superb knock by Brendon McCullum had propelled his Knights past the par score at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. With this win, Bangalore keep their hopes alive of reaching the final four of the Indian Premier League.
Chasing 174 to win on a brilliant batting strip, Bangalore got off to a good start courtesy Jacques Kallis (32) and Jesse Ryder (22) who added 58 runs for the first wicket. The two though slow, laid a strong foundation for the late onslaught.
Kallis was the first to go, falling prey to a flying catch by McCullum off the bowling of Murali Kartik. Ryder then fell to Ajit nAgarkar and when Robin Uthappa (7) was dismissed by Kartik in the 11th over, there was only one team which was looking hot favourites.
But Taylor had other ideas. He, alongside Rahul Dravid (12), first added 48 runs for the fourth wicket and then with Mark Boucher (13) finished the game with a whirlwind 54-run stand.
It was sorry state of affairs for the Kolkata bowlers. Ishant Sharma and Agarkar came in for some nasty treatment at the hands of Taylor. Sharma went for 40 runs in his four overs and Agarkar gave five runs more than his new-ball partner. There would be questions galore as far as the bowling selections were made. Playing Angelo Matthews ahead of Mashrafe Mortaza was questionable and if that was not enough, playing Agarkar and making Ashok Dinda sit was another disaster.
Nonetheless, it was a magnificent effort which took the game away. Such was the intensity of the late onslaught from Taylor that it took him just 20 balls to score the last 54 runs after a stage when they required 52 to win off the last four overs.
Earlier, after winning the toss, Bangalore skipper Anil Kumble invited McCullum and his boys to bat first. The Kolkata outfit though did not start well, losing Sourav Ganguly (4) and Arindam Ghosh (7) and handing over early advantage to Bangalore. Both fell victim to good pace and bounce generated by Vinay Kumar.
But skipper McCullum's exquisite power-packed 84 and a quickfire 43 from comeback man David Hussey made sure the Knights ended up with a handsome total on the board. MCCullum broke his string of failures and though late in the series, the knock gave the total a lot of respectability.
Hussey moved in to bat with the KKR side precariously placed at 21/2 and the run rate going nowhere. Both he and McCullum then added 70 runs for the third wicket thereby paving the way for the huge total. Hussey was the aggressor of the duo and his knock consisted of three boundaries and two huge sixes.
Post his dismissal, McCullum took charge and for the first time in the tournament looked like the McCullum people know and talk about. He brought his fifty with two consecutive sixes off Akhil. In fact he hit five consecutive boundaries starting from the fourth ball of the 19th over and finishing only in the third ball of the 20th over.
McCullum's knock was studded with 10 hits to the fence and two over it. If all this carnage was not enough, Wriddhiman Saha finished the innings with a huge six off the last ball taking the side past the 170 run mark for the first time in the tournament.