sport

Kolkata keep Bangalore at bay

Kolkata Knight Riders held their nerve in the final over to pip Royal Challengers Bangalore by two runs in an Indian Premier League thriller.

Chris Lynn marked his debut for Kolkata by top scoring with 45 in their innings of 150 for seven, though his most telling contribution in the match came in the field when he held on to a stunning catch.

Posted out at mid-wicket, the Australian slipped when moving underneath a lofted shot from AB de Villiers. However, he regained his feet in time to acrobatically dive backwards and cling on to the ball, falling to the ground just inside the rope.

The wicket helped keep Bangalore down to six runs from the final over, bowled by seamer Vinay Kumar, as they somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Despite seeing skipper Virat Kohli bowled by Sunil Narine for 31, the Royal Challengers found themselves needing 28 from the final 24 deliveries of their run chase.

Yet somehow they lost their way with the finishing line in sight; Yuvraj Singh struggled to 31 from 34 balls before falling to the otherwise expensive Umesh Yadav (one for 40) in the penultimate over.

De Villiers and Albie Morkel proved incapable of lifting the run rate, meaning they fell short at 148 for five, despite Parthiv Patel (21) and Yogesh Takawale, who made 40, giving them a fine start with a 67-run opening stand.

In contrast Kolkata had earlier suffered a shocking start to their innings, captain Gautam Gambhir falling to the third ball to register a hat-trick of ducks at the start of the new IPL season.

Opening partner Jacques Kallis fared better, striking a six and two fours to make 43. He put on a third-wicket partnership of 80 with Lynn after Manish Pandey had departed for just five.

Both Lynn and Yusuf Pathan fell in the same Varun Aaron, the latter picking out Kohli at mid-off to depart for a duck, but late cameos of 22 and 24 not out respectively from Robin Uthappa and Suryakumar Yadav saw them to a total that proved just enough in the final reckoning.