Clinical Knight Riders decimates Daredevils in 71-run win

Chasing Kolkata Knight Riders' 200, Delhi Daredevils was bowled out for 129 in 14.2 overs.

Sunil Narine with team-mates after picking up a wicket.   -  SPORTZPICS

For a moment it was difficult to understand whether one was attending a Kolkata Knight Riders’ home game at the Eden Gardens, or was Delhi Daredevils playing at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

The crowd cheered for Daredevils as its skipper Gautam Gambhir, a former Knight Riders captain—walked into the stadium. Every time Gambhir was seen on the giant screen, a thunderous roar from the crowd erupted and that said it all. Kolkata was still in love with its old captain!

But all those emotional effusions were not enough as Daredevils fumbled against the home side, by a huge 71 runs. Chasing a massive target of 201, the visiting side folded up for 129, conceding its third defeat of the season so far.

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On a day when none of its bowlers could make an impact, it was important for a star-studded Daredevils' batting line-up to step up. But that did not happen. The visiting side was reduced to 24-3 inside the first three overs. With Jason Roy (1), Shreyas Iyer (4) and Gambhir (8) falling cheaply in quick succession, there was not much hope of a revival for the visiting side. Even though Risabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell stitched a 62-run partnership for the fourth wicket, the battle was lost after they exited. Playing a 26-ball-43, Pant was caught by Piyush Chawla at deep mid-wicket off Kuldeep Yadav. Maxwell, who hammered three boundaries and four sixes too was sent back by Kuldeep for 47. After Maxwell's departure, it all went downhill for Gambhir’s men.

Kuldeep and Narine returned with three wickets each as Daredevils was bowled out in 14.2 overs.

How they fared:

The Top Buy: Kolkata Knight Riders' opener Chris Lynn, bought for Rs. 9.6 Crore, scored a 29-ball 31.

The Rookie: 18-year-old KKR batsman, Shubman Gill, scored six runs off five balls.

Earlier, Gambhir won the toss and opted to field first. Perhaps, he banked a bit too much on his pace trio of Trent Boult, Chris Morris and Mohammed Shami. However, that decision of his backfired, as Shami - who was back at the Eden after long - looked completely off-colour and ended up conceding 53 runs in four overs. Boult and Morris claimed two wickets each, but that was not enough to stop the Knight Riders from putting up 200/9 on the board.

Andre Russell and Nitish Rana were the architects of that innings with their 61-run partnership. The big-hitting West Indian hammered a 12-ball 41, while the young Rana top-scored with a knock of 61 runs.

Kolkata, however, failed to start well as its opening combination of Chris Lynn and Narine did not fire. In the last match, Kolkata had promoted Robin Uthappa ahead of Narine but he failed to score. In this match, the team again showed faith in Narine, but was dismissed by Boult for 1.