Hyderabad: Kolkata Knight Riders remained unbeaten in the Champions League T20 as they beat Dolphins by 36 runs in their last Group A game at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Monday.
Defending 187 fuelled by Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey, the IPL champions put the skids under Dolphins at the start of their chase and despite good batting efforts from Andile Phehlukwayo and Khaya Zondo the team South Africa could only go as far as 151 for 8 to end their tournament without a win.
KKR, with four consecutive wins in the tournament and 13 in all, topped their group and will now play Australia's Hobart Hurricanes, second in Group B, in the semi-finals.
After losing Cameron Delport (0) and Cody Chetty (1) in the first two overs, Dolphins were never in the chase.
Captain Morne van Wyk's 34 and the fifth-wicket 69-run stand between Phehlukwayo (37) and Zondo (32) provided some scare to KKR but Sunil Narine cleaned up Phehlukwayo in the 15th over and then got rid of the-big hitting Robert Frylinck (11) and Zondo off successive balls in his next over to put an end to any chances of an upset.
Narine returned 3 for 33 while Yusuf Pathan chipped in with 2 for 25.
KKR overcame the loss of two early wickets to post a big total earlier in the day. Uthappa and Pandey led KKR's comeback after captain Gautam Gambhir (12) and Jacques Kallis (6) fell cheaply with just 34 runs on the board in five overs.
With the death-overs approaching, Pandey also began to cut loose and in the 18th over bowled by Kyle Abbott he hit two fours and two sixes to make his presence felt. He remained unbeaten on 76 off 47 balls with the help of five sixes and five fours while Uthappa carried his bat for 85 off 55 balls (13 fours), his best-ever T20 score. Both added a 91-ball 153 for the third wicket.
Earlier, Kolkata have won the toss and opted to bat first.
Kolkata Knight Riders unchanged while one change for Dolphins -- Craig Alexander in for Keshav Maharaj.
Kolkata: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Jacques Kallis, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav.
Dolphins: Morne van Wyk (Capt. & wk, Cameron Delport, Cody Chetty, Jonathan Vandiar, Craig Alexander, Khayelihle Zondo, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Robert Frylinck, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kyle Abbott, Prenelan Subrayen
Kolkata Knight Riders - 187/2 (Uthappa 85, Pandey 76*)
Dolphins - 151/8 (Phehlukwayo 37, van Wyk 34, Zondo 32, Narine 3-33)
Result - Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs
Points - Kolkata Knight Riders 4, Dolphins 0
MOM - Robin Uthappa (Kolkata Knight Riders)