New Delhi: In a match that was predicted to be a clash between the titans, it was the Kolkata Knight Riders who were the better of the two sides as they defeated Delhi Daredevils by 6 wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground. Both Sehwag and Gambhir provided good start to their teams, but it was the latter who was more effective in this particular match.
It was the sixth successive win for Kolkata Knight Riders who also grabbed the top spot surpassing the Daredevils. With their all-round performance, Kolkata once again showed that they have become a force to reckon with in this season and they have the ability to trounce the best of teams.
Sehwag won the toss and he decided to bat first. He along with David Warner who replaced Kevin Pietersen got off their side to a flyer as they scored 40 runs off the first 21 balls.
Pradeep Sangwan who replaced Pawan Negi went for 17 runs off his first over after a maiden bowled by Brett Lee. Sehwag began his innings with a boundary over covers and hit Sangwan for a magnificent Six in the same over. They continued their brutal onslaught in Lee’s second over as the Australian went for 17 in the third over.
Kallis was brought in as a first replacement as he got the major breakthrough and he scalped Sehwag in the fourth over when he was caught plumb in front of the wicket. In his short stay on the crease, Sehwag had bludgeoned 23 runs off just 9 balls. Kallis used his experience to get rid of Warner (21 from 19) who could work no magic in his first match of this season. Kallis almost got rid of Mahela who clearly nicked a ball in the last ball of the same over, but the umpire rejected the appeal. At the end of the over Mahela and Gambhir exchanged a few heated words.
Taylor once again disappointed with the bat as he scored just 16 runs off 27 balls and couldn’t score a single boundary. The only time he decided to hit one was when he was caught at long-off in Sangwan’s last over. It was Irfan Pathan’s 22-ball 36 which helped Delhi cross the 150 run mark. Four wickets fell in the last over bowled by Sunil Narine, who continued to deceive batsmen.
Gambhir and McCullum utilized the field restrictions as they scored 60 runs in the first six overs. Gambhir was once again on song as he smashed Shahbaz Nadeem for 16 runs in the fourth over. Varun Aaron who was introduced in the seventh over provided a breakthrough as he bowled the Kolkata skipper in the last ball of his first over. Umesh Yadav had dropped Gambhir off the previous delivery but he could not make the most of that chance as he was bowled for 36(21b).
Jacques Kallis once again made a useful contribution with the bat as he scored 30 runs from 27 balls before being dismissed off a short ball from Umesh Yadav. Yadav scalped McCullum off the next ball as Yusuf Pathan denied him a hat-trick. These two strikes came too late as Kolkata needed just 20 runs from 24 balls.
Delhi batsmen were tested today once Sehwag was dismissed early and their failure proved that he has been the driving force for them right through the tournament. Gambhir on the other hand looked once again in-form for his 36 runs and once he departed, McCullum joined the party and proved his worth in the Kolkata dugout.
While it was a good show by the Kolkata bowlers, Sehwag could not make the maximum use of his pace attack which had the likes of Morkel, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron. Gambhir has been receiving praise from all corners and he once again proved his worth with his leadership skills.