IPL 2013: Reigning Champions Kolkata Make Winning Start

IPL 2013: Reigning Champions Kolkata Make Winning Start
IPL 2013: Reigning Champions Kolkata Make Winning Start
©REUTERS / Action Images

Kolkata Knight Riders 129-4 (Gambhir 42) beat
Delhi Daredevils 128 by 6 wickets
Indian Premier League 2013, Kolkata
Report by John Pennington

The opening game of the 2013 Indian Premier League saw reigning champions Kolkata Knight Riders beginniing their campaign wih a ruthless six-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils in front of their home crowd at Eden Gardens.

Daredevils were dismissed for just 128 after being put into bat and Kolkata overcame a few stumbles before closing on 129 for four in the penultimate over.

Although Mahela Jayawardene made a classy 66 in 52 balls, the inability of Delhi's batsmen to support him cost them dear as Sunil Narine picked up four for 13 in his four overs.

David Warner made 21 in 19 balls as the only other player to reach double figures; he and Jayawardene helping get Delhi's innings back on track after Unmukt Chand had been bowled by Brett Lee from the first ball of the tournament.

They put on 44 inside the Power Play, Jayawardene hitting eight fours and a six before their innings unravelled spectacularly.

Narine removed Warner, Lakshmiphathy Balaji dismissed Manprit Juneja (8) and then Rajat Bhatia removed Naman Ojha for nine and Johan Botha for seven.

When Narine struck again to have Irfan Pathan caught by Manoj Tiwary for four, the score read 97 for six and Narine swiftly finished off the Delhi lower order, seeing off Andre Russell (4) and Ashish Nehra (0) as well as running out Shahbaz Nadeem for four.

Lee finished with two for 40 and Bhatia two for 23 against his former team.

Delhi struck quickly when Kolkata came out to bat - as they had to to stay in the game - when Nehra had Manvinder Bisla caught by Chand but Gautam Gambhir's 42, Jacques Kallis hitting 23 and Tiwary making the same score settled any Kolkata nerves.

Gambhir faced 29 balls, hitting five fours and a six before falling to Botha and when Nadeem removed Kallis and Tiwary, at 99 for four, the game was almost there for Delhi's taking.

It wasn't quite, however, as Kolkata bat deep. Eoin Morgan made 14 not out in 15 balls and Yusuf Pathan reminded everybody of just what he is capable of with one six in his unbeaten 18 in 16 balls as Kolkata wrapped up victory with eight balls to spare.

It wasn't a thriller - IPL openers seldom are - but Kolkata will be delighted to have repeated their opening day success of 2008 while Delhi's batting was made to look very thin indeed - proof indeed that Kevin Pietersen and Jesse Ryder will be missed.

© Cricket World 2013

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