Delhi earn easy victory over Kolkata
A wonderful, unbeaten half century from David Warner guided the Delhi Daredevils to an emphatic seven-wicket victory, with 13 balls to spare, over the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur on Wednesday.
Full Scorecard: Delhi v Kolkata
Warner notched up his second consecutive half century, ending on 66 not out off 42 balls with five boundaries and three sixes as the Daredevils ended on 137 for three, after the Knight Riders, who had won the toss, posted 136 for seven in their 20 overs.
Warner was wonderfully assisted by the young right-hander, Unmukt Chand, who scored 37 off 39 balls, and shared in a third-wicket partnership of 95 off 76 deliveries to rescue the innings after Delhi had slipped to 27 for two in the fifth over.
Kolkata's total was boosted due to some lusty blows from Sumit Narwal (23), who faced 15 balls and hit four fours, and Brett Lee (16 not out). Lee smashed two sixes and faced just six deliveries, as Ashish Nehra (1-37) felt the brunt of the Australian's bat.
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Kolkata lost wickets at regular intervals and found themselves stuttering on 37 for three at the end of the powerplay, having lost Gautam Gambhir (0), Manvinder Bisla (4) and Yusuf Pathan (20).
Pathan was wonderfully caught by his brother, Irfan, off the bowling of Morne Morkel (4-0-22-1) at the end of the sixth over, just as the hard-hitting right-hander looked to be set. Pathan faced just 16 balls, hitting two fours and a six.
The visitors managed to score only 13 runs in the next four overs, but lost the key wickets of the in-form Eoin Morgan (10) and Jacques Kallis (12).
Rajat Bhatia (26 not out) then joined Debabrata Das (18) as the pair added 34 for the sixth wicket off 43 balls.
It was then Narwal who upped the tempo as he and Bhatia added 30 runs for the seventh wicket off only 19 balls.
Delhi's reply began slowly as Mahela Jayawardene (5) and Virender Sehwag (17) struggled to get the ball away.
Kallis (1-29) made the breakthrough in his first over, having Sehwag caught at first slip by Yusuf Pathan.
Three balls later it was Kallis who took the catch at slip to remove Jayawardene off the bowling of Lakshmipathy Balaji (1-35) to leave the hosts on 27 for two at the beginning of the fifth over.
Warner and Chand then went about rebuilding the innings and slowly increasing the run rate. Bisla, standing behind the stumps, will be ruing the missed stumping opportunity he had off Bhatia, when Warner was on 22.
Warner had a second chance when Kallis dropped a catch on the boundary, only for the ball to go for six.
Warner brought up his 50 off 35 balls when he slapped a ball to the square leg boundary for four.
Bisla was then hurt as Warner and Chand scrambled through for a quick single, only for Chand and Bisla to clash. Bisla seemed to have twisted his neck as concerned fielders and officials attended to the wicketkeeper.
Lee bowled wonderfully upfront, ending with figures of 4-0-26-1 while Sunil Narine, though wicketless, was miserly, conceding just 14 runs in his four overs.
The victory now lifts Delhi onto six points, level with Kolkata, after ten matches. Delhi have now won two consecutive matches and will hope to continue this form into their next match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday.
The Knight Riders will need to lift themselves after two consecutive defeats, as they face the Rajasthan Royals on Friday.
DELHI DAREDEVILS: DPMD Jayawardene (capt), V Sehwag, UBT Chand, DA Warner, BJ Rohrer, KM Jadhav (wk), IK Pathan, S Nadeem, M Morkel, UT Yadav, A Nehra
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: MS Bisla (wk), G Gambhir (capt), JH Kallis, YK Pathan, EJG Morgan, DB Das, R Bhatia, B Lee, S Narwal, SP Narine, L Balaji