Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders launched their title defence on a perfect note as skipper Gautam Gambhir and Suryakumar Yadav drove them to a seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the IPL-8 T20 cricket tournament opener in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Chasing 169 for a win, Gambhir’s 43-ball 57 (7×4, 1×6) led the KKR charge, while Suryakumar’s unbeaten 46 off 20 deliveries helped them canter to their target in 18.3 overs. But it was the 85-run second wicket partnership between Gambhir and No.3 Manish Pandey (40) that set up the chase.
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There was some respite after the visitors dismissed the duo but ironically they found their nemesis in a familiar Mumbaikar Suryakumar, who led Mumbai in Ranji Trophy this season. The talented youngster, who came in at 121 for 3 with 48 required from 34 balls, hit some sensational shots that included a four and 5 sixes. Yusuf Pathan was also unbeaten on 14.