Uthappa stars for Kolkata

Robin Uthappa played a starring role with the bat as the Kolkata Knight Riders claimed a six-wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians on Wednesday.

With Mumbai having posted 141-5 from their 20 overs, opener Uthappa superbly marshalled Kolkata’s chase as he made 80 to help ensure his side got home with eight balls to spare.

On a slow surface, the Indians struggled to get away early on and lost opener Chidhambaram Gautam for a sluggish eight midway through the second over.

Lendl Simmons also went cheaply, but Ambati Rayudu (33) and skipper Rohit Sharma went about rebuilding the innings with a solid stand of 35 for the third wicket before the former was removed by Piyush Chawla.

Sharma proved the mainstay of the innings with a half-century that included eight fours and two maximums.

He fell for 51 in the final over, while Kieron Pollard failed to add any late impetus with just ten runs from 11 balls faced as Mumbai posted a below-par total.

The Knight Riders were always up with the required run-rate, although Harbhajan Singh bowled both Gautam Ghambhir (14) and Manish Pandey (14) to break their momentum.

But Uthappa was playing fluently as he brought up his half-century and stroked Simmons for two sixes over the off-side in the 15th over to put his side firmly in the driving seat.

Simmons would have the last laugh as he bowled him off the final ball of the over, but a lively knock of 20 not out from 13 balls from Yusuf Pathan made sure Kolkata got home with something to spare.

The win sees the Knight Riders join Rajasthan in third place in the table on 12 points, while Mumbai remain off the pace after a sixth defeat in ten games.