Kolkata: Every once in a while, the IPL throws up matches in which the performance of an individual renders the contest between two teams superficial. When Royal Challengers Bangalore travelled to Kolkata to take on the Knight Riders, they were at the receiving end of such a performance. Gautam Gambhir, the Kolkata captain, authored an innings that transcended the conditions and the pitch to give Kolkata a 47-run win that not only put them second on the points table, but also boosted their net run rate considerably.
Gambhir looked in prime touch from the start, and the first ball he faced went racing to the point boundary. The only jittery moments in his innings came right after, when he was dropped twice in the space of the next four deliveries. Both were difficult chances, with Harshal Patel and Chris Gayle diving, but failing to hold on to the ball. Those chances apart, Gambhir's bat seemed to consist of only the sweet spot. In the initial overs, he single-handedly kept the run-rate healthy, while Brendon McCullum struggled to get his timing and placement right.