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IPL 9: KKR's Knights shine at Eden

Hosts Kolkata Knight Riders overwhelm new-look Delhi Daredevils with a comprehensive nine-wicket win

Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders cruised to a nine-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils to open their IPL-9 campaign on the right note yesterday.

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell (right) celebrates the wicket of Delhi Daredevils’ Shreyas Iyer with his teammate Robin Uthappa during the IPL match at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens yesterday. KKR won by nine wickets and 35 balls to spare. Pics/AFP
Kolkata Knight Riders' Andre Russell (right) celebrates the wicket of Delhi Daredevils' Shreyas Iyer with his teammate Robin Uthappa during the IPL match at Kolkata's Eden Gardens yesterday. KKR won by nine wickets and 35 balls to spare. Pics/AFP

Gautam Gambhir and his men all but finished the match as a contest by dismissing their opponents for a paltry 98 in 17.4 overs on a good batting wicket. Among them were four from overthrows and 10 from wides.

Skipper Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa scored 69 in a rollicking opening partnership and KKR got the winning runs with nearly six overs to spare. Uthappa scored a 33-ball 35 and Gambhir remained unbeaten on 38 as the Knights warmed up nicely for Wednesday’s clash with champions Mumbai Indians.

KKR's Brad Hogg celebrates a Delhi Daredevils wicket. Hogg and Piyush Chawla bowled their four overs on the trot and snared five wickets between them
KKR's Brad Hogg celebrates a Delhi Daredevils wicket. Hogg and Piyush Chawla bowled their four overs on the trot and snared five wickets between them

Put into bat, the Daredevils began on a bright note as the first couple of overs fetched 23 runs, four of them coming from an overthrow. Andre Russell turned things around with a couple of wickets in the third over. He had one grow on the aggressive Quinton de Kock from the good length to have him hole out to mid-off and then trapped new man Shreyas Iyer.
Russell had Mayank Agarwal top-edge to third man in his next over and John Hastings followed it up by sending back Karun Nair.

The Daredevils lost four wickets in the space of 11 runs, and they never quite recovered from there as spinners Brad Hogg and Piyush Chawla, bowling their four overs on the trot, snared another five wickets between them.

Delhi lack poise
The visitors contributed to their downfall with a lack of poise and patience as poor shot-selection claimed many a batsman. Pawan Negi rushing out to Hogg, who showed exemplary control with his chinaman-googly mix, in the midst of what should have been rebuilding time, was symptomatic of Delhi's lack of application.

Carlos Brathwaite took his flurry of successive sixes to five, hitting the first legal delivery he faced over the mid-wicket ropes. The six, off leg-spinner Chawla, came after he had hit Ben Stokes for four sixes in a row to clinch the World T20 title for West Indies a week ago. The burly West Indian was done in three balls later by a wrong’un from Chawla.

Zak disappoints
A great deal interest swirled around Zaheer Khan’s bowling but the Daredevils skipper was a shadow of his old self. Taking the ball after a fine opening over by Nathan Coulter-Nile, the former India star failed to find movement and ended up conceding 20 runs, most of them coming from flicks off Gambhir’s pads to mid-wicket as the left-armer bowled the wrong line.

Brief scores

Delhi Daredevils 98 all out in 17.4 overs (Quinton de Kock 17; Andre Russell 3-24, Brad Hogg 3-19) lost to KKR 99-1 in 14.1 overs (Robin Uthappa 35, Gautam Gambhir 38 not out) by nine wickets

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