Azhar Mahmood stars again in Aces victory
Azhar Mahmood once again was Auckland's hero as the unfancied Kiwis hammered Kolkata Knight Riders by seven wickets.
Last Updated: 16/10/12 11:08am
The Kent veteran was star of the show with bat and ball in the Aces' victory over Hampshire in the qualifying group, and he did it again by almost single-handedly demolishing the IPL giants, who now face an early exit from the tournament in South Africa.
Mahmood took 3-16 as the Knight Riders were restricted to 137-6 in their innings, and then stroked an unbeaten 51no to lead his team home.
Brendon McCullum (40) top-scored for Kolkata, putting on a rapid 62 with opener Manvinder Bisla (38 off 24) but then the wheels came off, three wickets falling without addition - Mahmood removing Jacques Kallis and Manoj Tiwary for ducks with consecutive balls.
Shakib al-Hasan (15) and Yusuf Pathan (22no) added late runs but the Auckland openers quickly made Kolkata's total look well below par.
Lou Vincent smashed 17 off the first over from Lakshmipathy Balaji, and 14 from the second bowled by Shakib.
He fell in the third over to Sunil Narine having walloped 30 off 12 balls, allowing Martin Guptill (25) and Mahmood (51no) to take their time in adding a further 39.
When Guptill fell, holing out to long-on, Auckland needed 62 off 61 but Anaru Kitchen (24) hit a four off his first ball and then a huge six off his third, and with Mahmood calmly accumulating, the Aces strolled home with 14 balls to spare, Auckland's third straight victory in the competition.