Sunday, 28 November 2021

KKR bring Daredevils down to earth

Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan shared a century stand to drag Kolkata Knight Riders to a four-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils. Set 169 to win, Pandey (69no) and Pathan (59) shared a 110-run stand off 72 balls to rescue Kolkata from a perilous position at 21-3. The victory – the franchise’s fourth of the campaign – takes the Knight Riders, who finished on 169-6 with one ball left, top of the IPL 10 table above Mumbai Indians on net run-rate. Chris Woakes missed the chance to seal victory when he was stumped for three off Amit Mishra in the final over, but his 1-31 earlier played a large part in keeping Delhi in check. Delhi made a rapid start after opting to bat, Sanju Samson (39 off 25 balls) and Sam Billings (21 off 17) sharing a 50-run stand off just 4.4 overs. Billings eased into his work with a clipped four through midwicket off Umesh Yadav, then had a watching brief as Samson plundered three more boundaries off the over. Both fell in quick succession thereafter, Billings tickling Nathan Coulter-Nile (3-22) down the leg-side and Robin Uthappa’s gloves were back in business 10 runs later as Samson looked to run Yadav to third man. Woakes was unfortunate not to get in on the act when he hurried Shreyas Iyer (26 off 17) with a superb bouncer that the batsman fended off for four.

Karun Nair enjoyed a life on 20 when Uthappa failed to hold onto a big edge off the economical Sunil Narine but he failed to take advantage, losing his stumps to a superb Coulter-Nile yorker. At 119-4 off 16 overs, Delhi needed a destructive climax and Rishabh Pant supplied it, striking three sixes as he hit 26 off one Yadav over, the pick of them a wristy flick high over backward square. Pant fell in attacking mode, slicing Coulter-Nile to backward point and the Australian should have had a fourth on at least two occasions – Gautam Gambhir shelling a simple Chris Morris chance before the seamer clipped Pat Cummins’ leg-stump without dislodging a bail. Woakes, trusted with the final over, conceded 11 runs picking up the wicket of Morris in the process with a slower, short ball that ended in short third man’s hands. Kolkata’s decision to promote Colin de Grandhomme to open failed as he picked out Billings at deep square and they slipped into further trouble when Uthappa nicked a beauty from Zaheer Khan behind. The chase was floundering at 21-3 when Khan induced a leading edge from Gambhir, then revived as Mandey and Yusuf Pathan put on 50 runs in 30 balls. Yusuf brought up his 21st T20 fifty by depositing a low Khan full toss over midwicket for six, a scampered three next ball bringing up the 100 stand off 66 deliveries. He failed to complete the job, top-edging a pull off Morris, but Pandey was on hand to take over after completing his own half-century off 37 balls – sealing victory with a quick two into the off-side.

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