Delhi Daredevils 100-2 (I Pathan 42no) beat
Kolkata Knight Riders 97-9 (Morkel 3-18) by 8 wickets
Indian Premier League, Kolkata
A superb all-round performance from the Delhi Daredevils carried them to an eight-wicket victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders in a match reduced by rain to 12 overs per side.
Morne Morkel took three for 18 as the Daredevils limped to 97 for nine before Irfan Pathan scored an unbeaten 42 in 20 balls as the visitors won with five balls to spare.
After being invited to bat by the Daredevils, the Knight Riders made a steady start as Pathan found some early swing and Roelof van der Merwe accuracy and it was the South African who struck first when he had Brendon McCullum trapped in front trying to pull a ball which wasn't short enough. The New Zealander hit two crisp boundaries before falling for nine in seven balls.
Morne Morkel was on a hat-trick after two perfect yorkers bowled Jacques Kallis (4) and Manoj Tiwary (0) and although Yusuf Pathan survived, he was gone soon after when he was done for pace by Umesh Yadav and he edged to wicket-keeper Naman Ojha.
Gautam Gambhir (16) and Debabrata Das (18) then attempted to revive the innings after Das was dropped by Yadav in the deep in what turned out to be Delhi's only mishap in the field.
Das hit two big sixes in nine balls before he was run out and Gambhir became Morkel's third victim when he chopped on; Delhi losing two wickets with the score on 56.
Laxmi Shukla, fresh from a good season in domestic cricket, then smacked 26 in 17 balls to haul themselves to the brink of a century but they were unable to get there - despite Brett Lee (9) hitting Roelof van der Merwe for six - as Rahat Bhatia (7) also fell before the end of the innings.
In reply, Aaron Finch made the early running, racing to 22 before Sehwag hit Iqbal Abdulla for six from just the fourth ball he faced as Delhi quickly imposed themselves on the bowlers.
There was a touch of swing early on for Brett Lee but his first two overs went for 15 and Marchant de Lange leaked 11 from his first, and captain Gambhir quickly turned to his slower bowlers in Abdulla and Kallis.
Finch stroked five boundaries before he was bowled attempting another big shot by Kallis as he registered a new IPL career-best of 30 in 27 balls.
Sehwag fell shortly after when he was caught at long on by Abdulla off Bhatia having made 20 in 13 balls. The two quick wickets handed Kolkata a lifeline and Delhi briefly wobbled.
The pressure was relieved when Irfan Pathan gracefully lifted Kallis over midwicket for six in the ninth over to leave his side needing 28 to win in 18 balls.
Pathan greeted de Lange's return with an even better shot - and the same result - two balls later. Another six over long on then followed in the same over as he produced the goods when his side needed it most.
He then drove brother Yusuf through the covers for four and the match was finished off when he clipped Bhatia for four through square leg, Pathan ending unbeaten on 42 in 20 balls with Glenn Maxwell on three.
Delhi were - Yadav's drop apart - excellent in the field and Kolkata notably inferior on the day, disappointing a huge crowd that had turned out and then waited or the rains to clear to see their team in action.
The Daredevils are quickly back in action when they play the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday (7th April) while next up for Kolkata is a trip to Rajasthan one day later.
© Cricket World 2012