Kolkata Knight Riders cantered to a six-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils at the Ferozeshah Kotla here Monday, and went to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table.
The visitors then egged on by Brendon McCullum’s 56 off 44 balls achieved the target losing four wickets and with eight balls to spare.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir (36) and South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis (30) made valuable contributions as Knight Riders registered their sixth consecutive win in the league. Kallis, who picked up two for 20, was also adjudged as Man of the Match for his all-round performance.
The Knight Riders have 17 points, having played one game more than the Daredevils, who are on 16 points from 11 matches.
Gambhir got his team to another flyer smashing five fours on his way to 36 off just 21 balls. His opening partner Brendon McCullum gave him ample support as the Knight Riders reached 60 at the end of the powerplay.
Umesh Yadav dropped Gambhir at third-man but luckily for him, Varun Aaron castled him the very next ball.
Kolkata were coasting at 128 for one at the end of 15 overs but pacer Yadav gave the hosts an inkling of hope removing Kallis (30) and McCullum of successive balls. Yusuf Pathan (7) and Debabrata Das (1) held on to their nerves taking Kolkata across the line
Earlier, Daredevils electing to bat made a good start, courtesy skipper Virender Sehwag (21) and David Warner (23). After Brett Lee bowled a maiden in the first over, the next two overs yielded 34 runs.
The joy though was short-lived as Kallis (2-20) gave Delhi a body blow, trapping Sehwag in front of the stumps. The Delhi dasher’s dream run in the tournament came to an end after scoring five consecutive fifties. Though he won himself the orange cap, overtaking Rajasthan Royals’ Ajinkya Rahane.
Warner, playing his first match in the fifth edition, didn’t stay too long either as he fell victim to Kallis’ bouncer.
Former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene (30) looked in good touch and forged a 46-run stand with New Zealand’s Ross Taylor. Keeper McCullum gave him a reprieve when he was on eight but Mahela failed to cash in as Gambhir ran him out.
Taylor’s abysmal run in this year’s tournament continued, as he scooped an easy catch to long off, giving medium-pacer Pradeep Sangwan his first scalp in the tournament. The New Zealand captain looked totally out of sorts, scoring 16 off 27 balls.
All-rounder Irfan Pathan played a cameo down the order hitting 36 off 22 balls, which included a six and four fours. Pathan’s late surge propelled Delhi to a fighting total.
West Indian Sunil Narine again bowled an economical spell picking two for 23 from his four overs.