Kolkata Knight Riders 148 for 7 beat Delhi Daredevils 131 for 9 by 17 runs
Man of the match: Manoj Tiwary
A poor batting effort saw Delhi Daredevils stay at the bottom of the table following yet another disappointing loss. The Delhi bowlers would be especially shattered as they did an excellent job to restrict the Kolkata Knight Riders to 148 for 7 despite a measured half century by Manoj Tiwary. However, the Kolkata Knight Riders outdid the Daredevils with the ball to coast to victory in the end at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. Left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla was the star for the Knight Riders with the ball, his three scalps derailing the chase on a pitch that offered ample turn.
In hindsight, Delhi clearly had gone the wrong way as they went out with an all-out pace attack. Even so, they did an excellent job. Irfan Pathan found his rhythm for a change and sent back Jacques Kallis early to get Delhi off to the perfect start. Umesh Yadav continued to impress with the pace which claimed the crucial scalps of the dangerous men Yusuf Pathan and Eoin Morgan. Also, Ajit Agarkar, who was playing his second game of the tournament, kept things tight and even got a wicket with the first ball he bowled.
The only disappointment for the Daredevils with the ball was unusually off colour performance of Morne Morkel, who gave away the most runs. Still, Delhi did not allow Kolkata to get away and only a mature half century from Manoj Tiwary, who remained unbeaten, took KKR close to 150. However, Delhi weren’t at their best with the bat either. David Warner had a rare failure. The only phase when Delhi looked in control was when James Hopes and Virender Sehwag were at the crease together. They took the score to 43, but the partnership needed to last longer from Delhi’s point of view.
The came turned around completed once Jaidev Unadkat managed to get rid of Sehwag. The ball was moving around and Unadkat chipped in with a couple of short ones, and Sehwag not one to back down went for one, which led to his downfall. The introduction of Abdulla had already slowed down the scoring. As the pressure grew Irfan Pathan fell, attempting to slog the left arm spinner but only perishing into midwicket’s hands. The unknown Travis Birt fell soon after, which meant also hopes were placed on all-rounder Hopes. However, he too lost his patience and hit one straight to cover off Abdulla’s bowling. The Mumbai lad added another scalp to his kitty as Naman Ojha slogged one in the outfield. Six down for 86 and the game was all but over.
Delhi managed a brief flutter. However, Shah Rukh’s team had no reason to worry as Brett Lee conceded just two runs in the penultimate over, and also helped out in getting two run-outs. The best moments for Delhi in the game came when Jacques Kallis was consumed by an incoming delivery by Irfan and Gautam Gambhir lost his wicket to Hopes’ far from threatening bowling. Yadav got Yusuf and Morgan cheaply to enable Delhi stayed ahead of the race. The boundaries were kept to the minimum in the last five overs.
Following the victory, the Kolkata Knight Riders moved up the table to second spot, but with the teams so close one wonders for how long. For Delhi though, they remain at the bottom and need something inspirational to turn things around.
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