Manoj Tiwary and captain Sourav Ganguly’s half-centuries helped Kolkata ease to a 39-run win over IPL strugglers Mohali.
Tiwary‘s was the most telling contribution of the match in which Shane Bond‘s new-ball fast bowling also had a major say.
Kolkata’s first win in four means they join three other teams on six points – one victory behind top-of-the-table Mumbai – while Mohali are cast adrift at the bottom.
Brett Lee, playing his first competitive match since last year, was unlucky to concede 15 runs – and four byes – in his first over, as Chris Gayle got Kolkata off to a flier after Ganguly won the toss.
Lee was instantly replaced by Shalabh Srivastava – who conceded only a wide and had Gayle brilliantly caught hooking on the deep-square fence by Manvinder Bisla in his first over, and in his second saw off Mandeep Singh too.
Ganguly’s stand of 79 with Tiwary (75no) carried his team past 75 for two after 10 overs.
Another 49 were plundered in the next four overs, Ganguly (50) reaching his half-century from 37 balls – as Tiwary soon would too.
Irfan Pathan did for Ganguly, holing out at deep mid-off.
But after David Hussey was bowled on the charge by Piyush Chawla, Tiwary’s big finish of 20 runs from the final four balls of the innings off Pathan grabbed the momentum for the visitors.
Mohali’s reply to 183 for five began badly when Bond had Ravi Bopara lbw for a second-ball duck.
Bond bowled his first two-over spell for only four runs – and after three, Mohali were nine for one.
Yuvraj Singh counted a four and six from successive Ajit Agarkar balls but was superbly caught by Tiwary as another attempted big hit launched a skier into the leg-side deep.
Mohali captain Kumar Sangakkara and his Sri Lanka Test colleague Mahela Jayawardene almost achieved parity at the 10-over mark. But the hosts were always up against it as wickets began to fall – and despite some token late hitting from Pathan, they were fighting a losing battle.
Agarkar’s dismissal of danger man Yuvraj just as Mohali were trying to counter-attack was a key moment.
Modest about his success, the Indian seamer said, “That is the way he (Yuvraj) plays. I got lucky after he hit me for a couple.
“After losing the last three, we needed to get some points on the board.”
Mohali: KC Sangakkara, RS Bopara, MS Bisla, Yuvraj Singh, DPMD Jayawardene, IK Pathan, PP Chawla, SJ Srivastava, B Lee, K Goel, VS Malik
Kolkata: SC Ganguly, CH Gayle, MK Tiwary, DJ Hussey, Mandeep Singh, AD Mathews, WP Saha, SE Bond, AB Agarkar, AB Dinda, Iqbal Abdulla