REPORT: KKR climbed to the top of the IPL 2017 standings after Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan rescued their chase to beat Delhi Daredevils by 4 wickets on Monday.
KKR stuttered in their chase of 169 on the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch as Colin de Grandhomme (opening the innings for the first time since 2010) was dismissed in the first over. Rishabh Pant, surely a future India wicket-keeper batsman, caught a brilliant effort to end Robin Uthappa’s stay in the second over, And then key man Gautam Gambhir was outsmarted by his opposing captain Zaheer Khan in the third.
At 21 for three KKR seemed out of it, but a massive partnership between Manish Pandey (69* from 49 balls) and Yusuf Pathan (59 from 39 balls) allowed them to chase down the runs.
Pat Cummins took some hammer in the sixth over as the pair grew in confidence and KKR were 49 for three at the end of the six over powerplay.
Yusuf hit Mohammed Shami for a six in the eighth over and Manish deposited Amit Mishra into the stands in the ninth. The pair then kept the scoreboard ticking, before Manish hit Angelo Mathews for a six in the thirteenth over. Yusuf brought up his half-century in style, depositing Zaheer Khan into the stands in the bowler’s final over, while Manish collected a boundary through fine-leg in the same over.
KKR were 125 for three after 14 overs, but Yusuf was dismissed, after collecting 6 fours and 2 sixes, in the fifteenth over. Suryakumar Yadav hit one down the throat of mid-off in the eighteenth.
KKR needed nine at the start of the last over and lost Chris Woakes, stumped second ball off Amit Mishra. Manish got back on strike with his team needing eight off the final three balls; he picked the ball from wide outside the off-stump and cleared the man at long-on. The following delivery, he drove one through extra cover and picked up a brace to complete the job. Manish remained unbeaten with 4 fours and 3 sixes to his name.
For the home side, the skipper Zaheer Khan was the most successful bowler; despite conceding 15 runs in his final over, he finished with figures of 2-28 from his four overs. Cummins, Chris Morris and Mishra were the other wicket-takers.
Earlier in the evening, the Delhi Daredevils were helped by contributions from several batsmen that took them to 168 for seven. Sanju Samson’s 39 was the top-score of the innings, while Rishabh Pant struck a few meaty blows and made 38 in the latter part of the innings.
The hosts got off to a brisk start after opting to bat first on a bald surface. The opening pair of Sam Billings, who collected 19 of his 21 runs through the leg-side, and Samson added 53 before the field restrictions were relaxed. But first ball after the powerplay, Billings nicked the KKR debutant Nathan Coulter-Nile to the wicket-keeper. Samson impressed with his timing and his shot selection; he drove fluently and worked the ball through the leg-side as he raced to 39 from 24 balls before nicking Umesh Yadav down the leg-side.
ShreyasIyer (26 from 17 balls) and Karun Nair (21 from 27 balls) kept things ticking in the middle overs; the third wicket pair added 43 runs at just over a run-a-ball before both of them were dismissed in successive overs.
DD were 110 after 15 overs and needed someone to up the ante. Young Rishabh Pant answered his team’s call as he scored 38 from 16 balls; the teenager collected 26 runs off Umesh Yadav, hitting the India speedster for three sixes and two fours in the 17th over. The left-hander was dismissed at the start of the nineteenth over when he threw his bat at a wide delivery from Coulter-Nile. Chris Morris collected two boundaries in the final over before he was dismissed. DD finished their twenty overs at 168 for seven.
For KKR, Nathan Coulter-Nile, playing his first IPL match for the Kolkata Knight Riders, was the most successful bowler. The Aussie quick returned with figures of 3-22; he could have had a five-wicket haul, but two catches were grassed in his final over. But he will be pleased to be back unscathed and successful after injury.
For KKR to have recovered like they did will fill the camp with huge confidence. The chase of 169 is the highest successful chase by any side in the IPL after losing three wickets in the first three overs. The previous highest was 145 for six by Mumbai Indians against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Bengaluru a few days back.
Success breeds confidence and often, with that, come trophies. KKR have certainly impressed so far.
Delhi Daredevils: 168 for seven (Sanju Samson 39, Rishabh Pant 38, Nathan Coulter-Nile 3-22)
Kolkata Knight Riders: 169 for six in 19.5 overs (Manish Pandey 69*, Yusuf Pathan 59, Zaheer Khan 2-28, Pat Cummins 2-39)
Man of the Match: Nathan Coulter-Nile
IPL 2017 TABLE AFTER MONDAY’S MATCHES
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