Bangalore, Sep 30 (IANS): Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Thursday breezed past home team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Chinnaswamy stadium here by nine wickets to keep their hopes alive in the ICC Champions League T20 (CLT20).
Chasing a modest target of 170 set by RCB in 20 overs, Riders scored 171 for one wicket in 17.3 overs, with Man of the Match Jacques Kallis (64) and skipper Gautam Gambhir (55) putting up a defiant 109-run second wicket partnership till the end.
Riders came into this must win game after losing to South Australian Redbacks in Chennai Tuesday and to Somerset Sabres in Hyderabad Sunday.
This is the second successive defeat RCB suffered at the home venue after losing by a whisker to Warriors of South Africa Sep 24 in their opening tie.
From the very first over itself, Riders' openers Brad Haddin and Kallis meant business and went after the ball to post 62 for the first wicket partnership.
Though RCB skipper Daniel Vettori desperately tried as many as seven bowlers to break the partnership, Kallis and Gambhir stayed on course and frustrated the home team by hitting merrily all over the ground, with as many as five sixes and seven fours between them.
Vettori was the lone RCB successful bowler to get Haddin for 42 caught by Virat Kholi.
Earlier, putting up a crucial 61-run partnership for the seventh wicket, Vettori and Rajoo Bhatkal steered the RCB to a respectable 152 before the latter was caught by Yusuf Pathan of Brett Lee ball for 25.
Though RCB's dashing opener Chris Gayle scored a brisk 25 with three mighty sixes, his dramatic departure followed quickly by Kholi for a duck put pressure on the middle order to accelerate the run rate and preserve wickets.
Dilshan and Saurabh Tiwary, who was impressive, consolidated the innings to add 33 runs for the third wicket.
After the fall of Mayank Agarwal and Mohammad Kaif in a span of 10 runs, it was left to Vettori and Bhatkal to salvage the innings in the face of a spirited bowling attack and tight fielding.
Lee, Iqbal Abdulla and Jaidev Unadkat shared two wickets each, Kallis, Pathan and Rajat Bhatia managed to take one wicket each.