Jacques Kallis and Sunil Narine came to the party in some style to help the Kolkata Knight Riders to an easy as it gets victory over the Mumbai Indians in the IPL 7 opener in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night.
Kallis made a brilliant 72, with Manish Pandey acting as a perfect foil at the other end, as KKR put on a good score of 163 for five in their 20 overs.
In reply, the Mumbai Indians never really got going, with Narine (four for 24) and Morne Morkel (one for 16) proving to be too hot to handle as the defending champions finished on a mere 122 for seven, for a big 41-run loss.
"Disappointing with the way we played today, but it's a long tournament," MI captain Rohit Sharma said after the game. "Positives to be taken, and I hope the guys stay positive and enjoy each other's company.
"KKR set themselves up well with Kallis. [And while] Malinga bowled really well, there are a lot of things to learn. There is a fair bit of grass covering on the wicket. It wasn't true bounce, but overall it was a good wicket. We didn't bat well enough. It's still a long tournament, with 13 games to go for us."
Gambhir will be pleased as punch with the result, with KKR showing they will be a force to be reckoned with this season, after a rather disappointing campaign last year.
If Kallis continues his form, and the likes of Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Shakib Al Hasan also find their mojo, then KKR, with the formidable bowling lineup, will go a long way this season.
"Before the toss, I thought we had a very good bowling attack and if we could put runs on the board, we'd be fine," Gambhir said. "We've got a quality batting line up with Jacques Kallis and me at the top. Morne Morkel gives us pace and bounce, and Narine is ably supported by the other spinners."