Kolkata Knight Riders won Pune Warriors by 7 wickets to keep their play off with in reach.
Gambhir played a calm and composed innings to score his 2nd fifty of this IPL. He was well supported by dangerous Pathan, surprisingly kept cool and composed along with captain his captain to have partnership of 64 runs for the third wicket.
He lost his wicket to Parnell at the end while team reruires just two runs away from winning.
Earlier Manoj Tiwary was dismissed after a solid partnership with skipper Gautam Gambhir as the Kolkata Knight Riders took control of their match against Pune Warriors India.
Earlier, Alfonso Thomas struck in the very first over to send back Sreevats Goswami as the Knight Riders chased 119 for victory against Pune in match 65 of IPL-4 at the DY Patil stadium on Thursday.
Pune restricted to 118
It was billed as Sourav Ganguly's payback game against Kolkata Knight Riders. Instead, it proved to be a stern examination on a turner for the Pune Warriors batsmen, and called in to question the home side's decision to play only one specialist spinner as Shakib Al Hasan, Iqbal Abdulla and Yusuf Pathan exploited the generous spin available on the DY Patil Stadium surface to tie Pune down.
The trio picked up five wickets for 51 runs in 11 overs, but more than that, they preyed on the minds of the Pune batsmen, who struggled to score on a pitch that would have been a good test of batsmen's skills in a Test match, but looked out of place in a Twenty20 match. Gautam Gambhir parked himself at silly point on numerous occasions, adding to the pressure Kolkata's spinners exerted.
Right from the first ball that Abdulla bowled, it was clear that the batsmen were in for a hard grind. It was flighted, drew Manish Pandey forward, and spun sharply across as he missed the ball by a long way. The third was the typical left-arm spinner's sucker ball, making Pandey push forward outside the line for the turn and going straight on to strike him in front. This was after Jesse Ryder had targeted the second ball of spin in the game, trying to smash Yusuf Pathan for six but only finding mid-off. It was the beginning of Pune's problems.
Callum Ferguson came in ahead of Ganguly, and the relative ease with which he played during his short innings made one wonder again what he had been doing in the Pune dugout for most of the season. It was the spinners' night though, and Ferguson was left clueless as he skipped out to Shakib, only for the ball to turn a long way past his bat for Shreevats Goswami to do the rest.
There was a time when left-arm spin from both ends would never be tried against Ganguly, but that time is long gone. Ganguly led a charmed life today, almost top-edging a ball on to his stumps, which could also have been a catch, only Goswami waited to check if the ball was going to hit the wickets. There was another let-off from Goswami when Shakib fired in the ball wide down leg seeing Ganguly charge out, only for the wicketkeeper to miss the shy at the stumps. Ganguly showed one glimpse of the batsman he once was, lofting Abdulla for a very straight six, but clearly, sustained big hitting on a difficult pitch was too much to expect. He departed on another failed attempt to break free, sweeping Shakib to Yusuf at backward square leg.
It was not until the 13th over that Pune's most explosive batsmen, Robin Uthappa and Yuvraj Singh, got together. A run-rate that had remained stuck below six after the opening over forced Uthappa to go hard at Yusuf in the next over, but he swung it to deep midwicket where Lee took a sharp catch.
Yuvraj was left playing the tragic hero yet again, but even he could not do much, ultimately top-edging a pull off L Balaji, who came on to bowl for the first time in the last over. Kolkata need at least one win from their last two games, and it might well come today.