Abu Dhabi, April 17: Former champions Kolkata Knight Riders rode on the brilliance of veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis to start their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign with a thumping 41-run win over holders Mumbai Indians in the opening match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here Wednesday.
Kallis thundered with a brilliant 46-ball 72 and along with youngster Manish Pandey, who struck a 53-ball 64, stitched a valuable 131-run second wicket stand that took Knight Riders to competitive 163 for five in 20 overs.
Knight Riders spinners did well to restrict Mumbai Indians to 122 for seven in 20 overs after Ambati Rayudu top scored with 48.
Spinner Sunil Narine was again the pick of the Knight Riders’ bowlers as he picked up four for 20 while left-arm spinner Shakib-al-Hasan and leggie Piyush Chawla bagged a wicket each.
Pacer Morne Morkel was also economical giving away just 16 runs from his four overs and also picked up the crucial wicket of Mumbai Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, who made 27 in 20 balls.
The only other Mumbai Indians batsmen to get to double figures was Aditya Tare, who made 24 off 22 balls.
Earlier, opting to bat first, Knight Riders overcame a poor start, thanks to Kallis and Pandey, to get to a competitive total.
Mumbai’s Lasith Malinga again finished with impressive figures of 4/23. In fact, it was Malinga, who gave Mumbai Indians a good start by removing Gautam Gambhir for nought in the second over with his trademark slinger yorker that struck his pads before crashing onto his stumps.
But from then on, Kallis and Pandey took away the match with their massive second wicket stand. Kallis hit five fours and three sixes while Pandey struck six fours and two sixes to enthrall the crowd.
Suryakumar Yadav finished it off well scoring an unbeaten 13 runs in five balls and 14 runs came from the final over. Knight Riders managed to get 73 runs in the last six overs.