New Delhi: Gautam Gambhir played a captain's innings to carry Kolkata Knight Riders to a 6-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils n their IPL encounter at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla on Monday night.
Gambhir led from the front with a 49-ball 60 as defending champions ropmed home with 11 balls to spare.
Chasing 147, openers Gambhir and Robin Uthappa provided Kolkata with a solid start as the visitors raced away to 31 in 4.1 overs. Gambhir’s innings was laced with eight fours.
Kolkata chased down the target with Yusuf Pathan remaining unbeaten on 40.
Domnic Muthuswami with 2-18 was the pick of the bowlers for Delhi.
Gautam Gambhir of Kolkata Knight Riders in full flow against Delhi Daredevils at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on Monday. Pic/PTI
Earlier, the KKR bowlers led by pacers Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav bowled a tight line to restrict Delhi Daredevils to 146 for eight Put into bat, DD were hurt by lack of partnerships but a late flourish from Angelo Mathews (21-ball 28) helped the home side get some respect to their total as Morkel and Yadav picked two wickets apiece.
The South African pacer (2-30) drew first blood after getting Mayank Agarwal (1) caught at long leg with Umesh Yadav taking a sprawling catch.
Mystery spinner Sunil Narine then struck in his very first over, cleaning up skipper Jean-Paul Duminy (5), who was done in by an off-spinner that was pitched outside the leg-stump to the left-hander.
Young batsman Shreyas Iyer (31) then counter-attacked to stitch a 36-run partnership with Manoj Tiwary (32).
Just when it seemed the Mumbai-born player, who hit 3 fours and a six, was ready to take on the KKR bowlers, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla got the dangerman cleaned up in the ninth over.
Tiwary then joined hands with Yuvraj Singh (21) to not only rebuild the DD innings after the strategic time out but also improve the scoring-rate with a few hits to the fence.
But the Bengal player, whose 28-ball stay was laced with 5 fours, was scalped by Morkel after he mis-timed a pull to short mid-wicket as the fourth wicket 37-run partnership came to an end.
Yuvraj's brief stay at the crease also came to an end in what looked like a funny stumping off Chawla after the left-hander had lost sight of the white ball while attempting a sweep and wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa was sharp to take the bails off only in the second attempt.
KKR bowlers continued to hurt the DD batting after Umesh Yadav got Kedar Jadhav (12) caught at backward point on the last ball of his third over.
But Mathews got stuck into Narine, hitting the off-spinner for two consecutive sixes and ended the 19th over with a boundary to get 20 runs of the West Indians' final over.
Nathan Coulter-Nile was run out in the final over of the innings and Mathews was caught behind off the final delivery with Yadav ending with impressive figures of 2-18.
DD 146-8 in 20 overs (M Tiwary 32; U Yadav 2-18) lost to KKR: 147-4 in 18.1 overs (G Gambhir 60, Y Pathan 40*; D Muthuswami 2-18) by six wickets
The two teams also observed two minutes silence in memory of young Bengal player Ankit Keshri, who died of a cardiac arrest three days after sustaining head injuries post a freak on-field collision during a CAB one-day game.