Shakib Al Hasan made a bright IPL debut when he took two wickets in Kolkata Knight Riders’ 9-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur yesterday.
The Bangladesh captain, who was acquired by the Kolkata franchise for $425,000 during the auction in January, removed Amit Paunikar in his first over before taking the prized scalp of Shane Watson in his last as he ended with figures of two for 31 from four overs.
South African Jacques Kallis top-scored with a 65-ball 80 not out while skipper Gautam Gambhir made an unbeaten 75 off just 44 balls as Kolkata achieved a 160-run target with nine deliveries to spare for their second win in three matches.
The pair added 152 for the unfinished second-wicket stand to ensure an easy victory for their team.
Left-handed Gambhir, caught off a no-ball when on 66, cracked one six and 11 fours, including four boundaries in an over from seamer Amit Singh. Kallis hit two sixes and seven fours in his third successive half-century.
It was the first defeat in three matches for Rajasthan, led by former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne.
Kolkata spinners Yusuf Pathan (2-4) and Shakib Al Hasan (2-31) earlier shared four wickets to restrict Rajasthan despite a 25-ball 35 not out by New Zealander Ross Taylor.
Off-spinner Pathan bowled former India captain Rahul Dravid (35) and then held a return catch to account for Ashok Menaria (27) in the same over to put pressure on Rajasthan.
SCORES IN BRIEF
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: 159-4 in 20 overs (Taylor 35 not out, Dravid 35, Menaria 27, Watson 22; Pathan 2-4, Shakib 2-31)
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: 160-1 in 18.3 overs (Kallis 80 not out, Gambhir 75 not out)
Result: Kolkata Knight Riders won by nine wickets.
Courtesy of The Daily Star