Robin Uthappa smashed 87 from 47 balls to see off Rising Pune Supergiant and send Kolkata Knight Riders to the top of the IPL table,Sky Sports reports.
RPS sorely missed Ben Stokes, who was ruled out with a minor shoulder injury, as Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir (62 from 46 balls) made light work of chasing down the hosts’ 182-5.
Uthappa, who had already made his mark on the game with three stumpings in the RPS innings, was in blistering form, hitting 13 boundaries and despite his dismissal late on, KKR got across the line with 11 balls to spare.
A 37-ball half-century from Steve Smith had helped RPS up to a competitive total after being put in to bat, ensuring that the positive start given to them by Ajinkya Rahane (46) and Rahul Tripathi (38) did not go to waste.
The KKR spinners had threatened to derail the innings with Kuldeep Yadav (2-31), Sunil Narine (1-34) and Piyush Chawla (1-36) all chipping in with wickets but a late push from Smith (51no) and Dan Christian (16no from six balls) kept the Supergiant in the game.
Narine continued to impress at the top of the order, hitting three quick boundaries before he was run out for 16. The key moment though, came soon after.
Uthappa top-edged a sweep off Imran Tahir but Jaydev Unadkat shelled the catch on the boundary. The wicketkeeper-batsman, at that stage on just 12 from 12 deliveries, quickly punished the error, hitting a four and two sixes from his next four balls.
That set the tone and soon Uthappa was in full flow, finding the boundary with ease as the required rate took a nose dive.
The partnership between Uthappa and Gambhir had reached 158 and just five were needed for victory by the time Unadkat removed the former.
Gambhir too was dismissed, Christain with the wicket, but a thumping cover drive from Darren Bravo sealed a seven-wicket win in the 19th over.