Uthappa on form as Kolkata Knight Riders cruise to victory


Robin Uthappa capitalised on Jaydev Unadkat's error to help Kolkata Knight Riders to a convincing seven-wicket victory over Rising Pune Supergiant in the Indian Premier League.

Uthappa made light work of Pune's bowling attack as he hit six sixes and seven boundaries to reach an impressive 87 from 47 deliveries.

However, Uthappa would have been dismissed on 12 if not for Unadkat's failure to take a simple catch as the Riders chased down Pune's respectable 182-5.

Pune captain Steven Smith was in fine form with the bat, plundering an unbeaten 51 while openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi hit 46 and 38 respectively.

But despite Sunil Narine losing his wicket to a run out early on, Pune - without the injured Ben Stokes - lacked the firepower to halt the rampant Uthappa or Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir, who amassed 62 before been caught out late on.

Having won the toss, Gambhir elected to bowl first and Rahane and Tripathi's stand lasted eight overs before the latter misjudged Piyush Chawla's googly.

Rahene was stumped soon after, though MS Dhoni's entertaining 23 from 11 balls and a late flourish from Smith and Daniel Christian put Pune in a strong position.

Narine's run-out in the third over could have spelled disaster for the visitors, and Pune should have had their second wicket four overs later.

Uthappa got his slog sweep all wrong, but fortunately for the Knight Riders, Unadkat fell backwards as he was setting himself to take the catch, merely helping the ball over the boundary.

And Uthappa duly made Pune pay, bringing up his half-century in style to take the visitors to the brink of victory.

Ultimately, though, Uthappa was denied the honour of scoring the winning runs, as Unadkat atoned for his earlier error with a slower ball that the batsman skewed straight to Tripathi.