Indian Premier League 2011, Delhi
Kolkata Knight Riders returned to winning ways, notching up their fourth win at Delhi by 17 runs. While they climbed to second spot in the table, it was Delhi Daredevils’ fifth loss out of seven matches and leaves them only one defeat away from falling out of contention.
Chasing an ordinary 149 for victory, Delhi fell agonisingly short once again, despite having been nearly equally placed at the halfway stage in their innings. While Kolkata had been 64 for 2 after ten overs, the Daredevils were at 60 for 2. But the major point of concern for them was all their firepower was already back in the dug-out. David Warner was out in the 2nd over, falling for only 2 runs and Virender Sehwag mistimed a pull off young Jaidev Unadkat in the 7th over, out for 34 runs off 23 balls. He hit five fours and one six but more was clearly needed.
James Hopes once again came up the order and made 25 runs, holding the innings together once again. But his efforts weren’t anywhere as useful as in the last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Frankly, he needed more support this night yet none was forthcoming, just like in the last match. Irfan Pathan, promoted to number four after a good spell of bowling, was out for just nine. Travis Birt and Naman Ojha joined him in disappointment, together making nine runs, and it was again left to Venugopal Rao to salvage something. Alongwith Yogesh Nagar, he delivered some lusty blows but the asking rate had climbed too high for Delhi to achieve anything at all. A double run-out in the 19th over ended their hopes.
Earlier though it looked as if Delhi gave themselves a chance in the match as they restricted Kolkata to a lowly total. Put into bat, the Knight Riders would never have settled for less than 150 runs. Yet that is what happened as an all-pace attack put the brakes on their scoring. Irfan Pathan was the lead act on the evening with his best bowling spell of the season. He bowled four overs for just 16 runs and picked up a wicket as well, not letting the Kolkata batsmen off the leash. It reflected in the wickets of Jacques Kallis and Shreevats Goswami, the former bowled by Pathan for just 11 runs. Goswami made 22 but was snapped up by former Kolkata player Ajit Agarkar. That left the score at 42 for 2 in the 7th over.
From then on, Manoj Tiwary kicked into high gear again, bringing up his first half century of the IPL 2011. He has gotten himself into good batting positions earlier, but it came together for him, and Kolkata, today. His 61 runs (not out) off 47 balls included two fours and three sixes. The reduced number of boundaries indicated how well Delhi bowled as they continued to pick wickets at regular intervals, never letting a big partnership develop. The third wicket stand for 40 runs between Tiwary and Gautam Gambhir was their highest of the innings. And after Gambhir fell in the 12th over, quick wickets meant Kolkata were never able to prop themselves up for a bigger score. Until Ryan ten Doeschate played a sharp little cameo at the end, they were even in danger of falling short of what they eventually made. But he and Tiwary put on 35 runs for the sixth wicket which eventually saw them reach 148 for 7 in twenty overs.
© Cricket World 2011