The Kolkata Knight Riders moved closer to a place in the IPL 2017 playoffs after another chasing clinic, with the bowling-strong Delhi Daredevils the team to feel the KKR batting wrath this time at Eden Gardens.
Choosing to bat second and haul down that total, the KKR bowlers did brilliantly at the back end to restrict DD to 160, and with Gautam Gambhir (67 n.o., 50b, 10x4) and Robin Uthappa (59, 33b, 5x4, 4x6) getting together and having some boundary-hitting fun one more time, the Knight Riders absolutely destroyed the much-vaunted Delhi Daredevils attack to pick up their seventh win in nine IPL 2017 matches.
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The start wasn't the greatest as Sunil Narine (4, 4b, 1x4) could not get his Powerplay boundary-hitting going this time around for KKR, with Kagiso Rabada getting one full and straight to race past the left-hander's defence and smash into the stumps.
All that did, though, was bring Batman and Robin together, and Gambhir and Uthappa did what they have done for so many years – win KKR matches with the bat.
Gambhir has been in sparkling form in IPL 2017 from the off, while Uthappa has come into his own in the last few games.
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Fresh from a match-winning knock in the last game against RPS, Uthappa rode his luck a little, with Amit Mishra and Sanju Samson making a complete hash of a simple catch as both of them pulled out at the last minute – Mishra was the man at fault, because he seemed to be the one who was going for the catch – but boy did he make full use of that luck, luck that came along when he was on just 9.
When Uthappa is in the zone, he really is hard to stop, and with Gambhir playing the spinner Amit Mishra with such brilliance, this proved to be another absolute cruise of a chase for KKR.
Delhi Daredevils, who were a little hamstrung by Zaheer Khan picking up a hamstring injury, got off to a searing start, with Samson again finding those boundaries in the Powerplay with ridiculous ease. Karun Nair, after a bit of a struggle, also got his groove on as the Delhi Daredevils raced to 41/0 in four overs.
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But from there, it was all pretty much downhill for the Delhi Daredevils, who were unable to take advantage of that great opening.
Karun (15, 17b, 3x4) was the first of four lbws for KKR, with Sunil Narine getting the Delhi Daredevils opener, who missed a sweep.
Samson and Shreyas Iyer then put on 75 runs together in 9.1 overs, but for the bulk of that partnership, there were hardly any boundaries, any intent.
From that fourth over, the Delhi Daredevils went without a boundary until the first ball of the 12th, and while they found a bit of momentum in the next few overs, as Samson and Iyer, who was the real culprit in DD getting a little stuck during those overs, finally broke the shackles, it all went quiet again soon after.
Samson (60, 38b, 4x4, 3x6), after a really nice innings, was struck in front by Umesh Yadav, before Nathan Coulter-Nile picked up two wickets in one over, when he dismissed Rishabh Pant (6, 4b, 1x4), with a yorker, and Iyer (47, 34b, 4x4, 1x6), with a nice-in-dipper.
This was Chris Morris (11, 10b, 1x4) and Corey Anderson's chance now to go six-crazy, but an awful mix-up meant Anderson (2, 5b), dropped twice in the same over by Kuldeep Yadav the bowler himself, was walking back, and from there KKR took complete control.
IPL 2017: KKR vs DD scorecard:
Toss: KKR, who chose to bowl.
Delhi Daredevils: 160/6 in 20 overs.
KKR: 161/3 in 16.2 overs.
Result: KKR won by seven wickets with 22 balls to spare.
Bowling: KKR: Nathan Coulter-Nile 4-0-34-3; Umesh Yadav 4-0-38-1; Chris Woakes 3-0-20-0; Sunil Narine 4-0-25-1; Kuldeep Yadav 4-0-27-0; Colin de Grandhomme 1-0-15-0.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan 1.1-0-8-0; Kagiso Rabada 3.2-0-20-2; Corey Anderson 2.5-0-27-0; Chris Morris 3-0-39-0; Pat Cummins 3-0-22-0; Amit Mishra 3-0-36-0.
Fall of wickets: Delhi Daredevils: 48/1, Karun Nair (4.5 overs); 123/2, Sanju Samson (14 overs); 131/3, Rishabh Pant (15.1 overs); 140/4, Shreyas Iyer (15.5 overs); 146/5, Corey Anderson (17.1 overs); 159/6, Chris Morris (19.5 overs).
KKR: 9/1, Sunil Narine (1.2 overs); 117/2, Robin Uthappa (12.2 overs); 139/3, Manish Pandey (14.5 overs).