Kolkata Knight Riders won their opening qualifying match by beating Auckland Aces by 2 runs. The Pool B qualifiers took place at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad which witnessed a thrilling encounter.
Knight Riders elected to bat as Jacques Kallis was made captain in the absence of injured Gautam Gambhir. Knight Riders got blistering start courtesy openers Manvinder Bisla and the captain Kallis himself. Bisla also top scored with 45 runs to his name. Despite the great start a middle order collapse saw Knight Riders achieve only 121 for the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs.
Chasing a low total the Auckland innings didn’t begin well as they lost their first wicket in the first ball of their run chase. Martin Guptill was run out by Ryan ten Doeschate. But Lou Vincent steadied the ship by making a 60 run partnership with Adams. The match was getting away from the Knight Riders but a moment of madness from Vincent saw him run out after a well made 40. Vincent was also to top scorer for Auckland. After the departure of Vincent,Yusuf Pathan took 2 wickets in successive deliveries to make the score 61 for 4 after 10 overs. Knight Riders got a foothold of the game from their onwards and a good spell from Yusuf Pathan, Rajat Bhatia and Iqbal Abdulla pegged Auckland back.
The game went to the wire and Auckland needed 11 runs in the last over to win the game. Brett Lee won it for the Kolkata Knight Riders by just conceding 8 runs in his final over.
In another qualifying match Trinidad and Tobago faced Sri Lanka’s Ruhuna XI. Batting first Ruhana made 138, with Dinesh Chandimal making 50. But Trinidad and Tobago chased down the target with 7 balls to spare losing only 5 wickets. Darren Bravo was the top scorer for Trinidad with 49 runs.