Kolkata - Captain Gautam Gambhir and Brendon McCullum shared a decisive 113-run opening stand as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Pune Warriors by seven runs in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
Gambhir struck 56 and McCullum hit 42 as Kolkata set a competitive 150-5 in 20 overs after electing to bat at Eden Gardens.
Captain Sourav Ganguly (36) and allrounder Angelo Mathews (35) led the chase with a 73-run stand for the sixth wicket but Pune could only manage 143-8 in reply.
The Gambhir-McCullum partnership added 100 runs in only 10.2 overs but their dismissals in quick succession on a slower pitch allowed Pune to bounce back.
Gambhir smashed pace bowler Ashok Dinda for 22 runs off seven deliveries during his 36-ball innings which included two sixes and four boundaries.
Gambhir was caught by Mithun Manhas at long-off while trying to hoist a full toss from left-arm spinner Murali Kartik.
In the next over, New Zealander McCullum was trapped lbw by Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews while trying a paddle-sweep, but only after he had struck one six and five fours off 43 balls .
Pune started badly as openers Michael Clarke (1) and Robin Uthappa (18) were dismissed by South Africa paceman Marchant de Lange by the fourth over.
At 55-5, Ganguly and Mathews started Pune's recovery.
Mathews hit three straight sixes against off-spinner Yusuf Pathan in the 15th over but the chase always looked difficult, especially after Ganguly's departure.
Ganguly, who comes from Kolkata, hit one six and four boundaries.
It was the fifth consecutive loss for Pune, which is second from bottom with four wins and eight losses. Kolkata is second in the nine-team league with seven wins, three defeats and a no-result.
Delhi Daredevils leads with eight wins and two losses.