Delhi beats Kolkata to reach No. 2 on IPL table

The tactical acumen of Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan has brought about a remarkable transformation in the team being dismissed as just one of the team to emerging as the team to fear.

Man of the match Carlos Brathwaite not only smashed three fours and three sixes in his 11-ball 34, but picked up three wickets.   -  R.V. Moorthy

Delhi Daredevils is not taking a false step this season. The tactical acumen of Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan has brought about a remarkable transformation in the team being dismissed as just one of the team to emerging as the team to fear. This was evident in DD’s 27–run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Saturday.

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Some tweaking in the batting line up and the faith in some of the young turks meant that DD had got its calculations right. The decision to gamble with a bowling strength of four may have left little scope for experiment but it worked. Carlos Braithwaite chipped in and DD scampered to the goal even as KKR faltered at a critical stage.

“No extra pressure,” said Braithwaite on having five bowlers. “But if you go for runs you have to come back strongly. After my second over went for a bit I went off the field with a slight hamstring, calmed myself and returned to the game. Had to come back as strongly as possible,’ said the West Indian.

DD plucked catches to change the course. The turning point was Amit Mishra grasping the stinging straight drive by Andrew Russell. His vigorous celebration was understandable since Russell had the capacity to swing the contest.

There were other sensational moments too when Shreyas Iyer ran in to complete a fine effort to get rid of Surya Kumar Yadav. He was also precisely positioned at point to snap Robin Uthappa, which was the deciding moment in DD’s successful campaign. Uthappa had threatened to take the game away but he failed to finish a job that he had carried on brilliantly.

There was excitement for the home fans when DD, put in, set up a target of 187 courtesy Karun Nair and Sam Billings, the latter making his IPL debut in style. Braithwaite swung his bat for some telling blows that proved a treasure in hindsight.

Zaheer Khan, proving to be the most astute captain in the competition, marshalled the team superbly.

“With Zaheer you have to be very careful. He is a cunning bowler,” said Uthappa. The DD captain did not lose his grip over the contest and ensured the home team’s fourth win in six matches.

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