Delhi say ‘Good Knight’ in style

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Centurion: Delhi Daredevils beat Kokata Knight Riders by 52 runs in the second match of the 2012 Champions League T20 at the Super Sport Park.Kolkata were never in the hunt after they lost three batsmen within a space of seven deliveries. Gautam Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla fell after playing some poor shots to Man-of-the-Match Irfan Pathan, while Brendon McCullum only lasted two deliveries, as he played a shot straight to Unmukt Chand at point.

To compound the  problem, Jacques Kallis had to retire hurt after taking a hit on his hand from Morne Morkel. Umesh Yadav  made full use of the bouncein the pitch, to force a defensive stroke off Yusuf Pathan, with the ball ricocheting onto the stumps. Knight Riders 24/4, with one foot in the grave.

Manoj Tiwary (22) and Rajat Bhatia (22) tried their best, but the target was a bit too much. Earlier, KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir won the toss, and invited his counterpart to take first strike with the bat. Jayawardene and Sehwag saw off Lee and Balaji without any trouble, by putting the bad ball away, while respecting the better ones. After first change Jacques Kallis failed to make an impact, Gambhir turned to Sunil Narine.

First ball. Wicket.

Mahela Jayawardene tried to cut, albeit with too much room, and paid the price as the ball hit his stumps, with the bat nowhere near it. Kevin Pietersen then used his feet against Narine, making the bowler look completely human, with some wristly flicks. But KKR keeper Manvinder Bisla too had a part to play in prolonging the right-hander’s stay at the crease, by dropping him not once, but twice.

Sehwag however enjoyed no such luck, as he made room to Pradeep Sangwan, only to edge the ball to Bisla, who ensured that he got both hands around the ball. New batsman Unmukt Chand took two balls to get his eye in, before getting off the mark with a beautiful drive on the up for four. Pietersen looked for the same result off Lee, with a pull stroke, only to find the ball falling into the hands of Sunil Narine at midwicket. Delhi 64/3.

Chand and Ross Taylor then put together a fruitful 63-run partnership in a rescue act that came right on time. Both batsmen made it a point to step on the gas whenever the opportunity presented itself. U-19 sensation Chand in particular, presented a great picture of himself, playing some good shots all around the ground. Taylor made his way back for 36, not before smashing Balaji for a six and a four. Chand took the cue, smashing two fours and a six, as the bowler added 30 runs to his figures.

Narine however got rid of Chand (40), with an off-break that went through the gate. Delhi then lost a few quick wickets, before Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan got together in the final over, to take the Daredevils to 160/8, again at Balaji’s expense.