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IPL 8: Chawla is Kolkata's knight in shining armour against DD

Continuing their supremacy at home, defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders rode on Piyush Chawla's match-winning four-wicket haul to beat Delhi Daredevils by 13 runs in a lop-sided IPL match at Eden Gardens

KOLKATA: Kolkata Knight Riders gave a new spin to Twenty20 cricket as they tamed Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens on Thursday night.

The 13-run win, their second consecutive one here, kept the defending champions on course for a berth in the knockout stages. 

Wasting no time over adding Sunil Narine to the mix, they chose to actually drop a pacer to accommodate him. It left a line-up with four specialist spinners -- a most rare thing in a T20 game. Narine, his off-spin cleared only in the morning by BCCI’s committee on suspect bowling action, looked cowered by self-consciousness, his four overs going for 30 runs. It was left to the other to deliver.   

Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan during his knock of 42 against DD at Eden Gardens on Thursday. Pic/PTI

Piyush Chawla chipped away at the wickets, having four caught in the deep to peg back the chase, which looked promising at times. His second spell read 2-0-9-3. Brad Hogg and Johan Botha proved expensive as the Daredevils chased a 172-run target but Andre Russell bowled cleverly at the death to keep DD at bay.   

Shreyas Iyer and Manoj Tiwary provided the platform to Delhi with a 63-run opening stand. If it appeared that they had consumed a trifle too many deliveries in the process, it was soon being set right by JP Duminy and Kedar Yadav. Till that familiar script unfolded.

Yadav and new-man Yuvraj Singh fell in Chawla’s third over, both trying to push the run-rate. Duminy was gobbled up under similar circumstances in his final over.

Angelo Mathews and Saurabh Tiwary kept DD fans interested with some lusty hitting but it just wasn’t enough in the end.  

Having decided to bat first, KKR may have wondered what was a good total on another slow turner. Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir added 38 in an opening stand helped along by shoddy fielding. Uthappa was dropped on 15 by Manoj Tiwary and on 23 by Yuvraj while Gambhir was miles short as Duminy missed a run-out.

The Daredevils did well to send back both, and KKR were forced to juggle the batting order. Chawla was pushed up the order, possibly to protect the likes of Andre Russell and Suryakumar Yadav from some quality spin bowling from Amit Mishra. Imran Tahir, the other leg-spinner in the DD line-up, failed to impress though he did pick up a couple of wickets.

However, the run-rate was still not where the home team would have wanted it to be but Yusuf Pathan and Yohan Botha addressed that and the last five overs produced 62 runs. Pathan hit 42 off 24 balls (3x4, 3x6) before Botha blasted 17 from five balls (4x4) in the last over to lift them to a fighting 171/7. That took a competitive total to a challenging one.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 171/7 in 20 overs (Yusuf Pathan 42, Robin Uthappa 32; Imran Tahir 2/46)

Delhi Daredevils 158/6 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 40, J.P. Duminy 25; Piyush Chawla 4/32)

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