Cape Town - Gautam Gambhir has struck a controlled fifty to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders to a comfortable six-wicket win over the Delhi Daredevils in their Indian Premier League match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Monday.
Gambhir scored 60 off 48 balls with eight fours as Kolkata, chasing Delhi’s 146-8, cruised to 147-4 off 18.1 overs, reports the supersport.com website.
Robin Uthappa (13) and Gambhir gave Kolkata a solid start to their run chase with a first-wicket stand of 31 before Uthappa chipped a delivery from seamer Domnic Joseph (2-18) to JP Duminy at mid-off.
Joseph struck three balls later when he had Manish Pandey caught at third man as Kolkata’s innings wobbled a touch.
But Gambhir and Suryakumar Yadav (24) put on 48 runs for the third wicket before Yadav feathered an outside edge off the bowling of paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile through to keeper Kedar Jadhav.
Gambhir reached his fifty, off 38 balls, by striking the eighth four of his innings before he and Yusuf Pathan shared in a 65-run fourth-wicket stand to steer Kolkata to the brink of victory. Pathan was in a particularly destructive mood as he raced to 40 not out off 26 deliveries with six fours and a six. Gambhir was out with just three needed for victory when he was bowled by legspinner Imran Tahir.
Morne Morkel, Piyush Chawla and Umesh Yadav had earlier shared six wickets as Kolkata made full use of winning the toss and electing to bowl on a pitch with variable bounce.
Paceman Morkel nabbed 2-30 while legspinner Chawla snared 2-27 but fast bowler Yadav was the stand-pout performer with the ball as he ended with the miserly figures of 4-0-18-2.
Morkel struck in his first over when he had Mayank Agarwal (1) caught at fine leg before spinner Sunil Narine bowled Duminy (5) to reduce Delhi to 22-2 in the fifth over.
Shreyas Iyer and Manoj Tiwary steadied the innings with a third-wicket stand of 36 before Iyer, who scored a competent 31 off 24 balls, was bowled by Chawla after the batsman tried an ambitious slog sweep.
Tiwary and Yuvraj Singh then combined for a fourth-wicket partnership of 37 but Morkel claimed his second victim when Tiwary, after scoring 32 off 28 deliveries, mistimed a pull shot and was caught at midwicket.
Delhi’s innings continued to stutter and Yuvraj Singh, who struck a few lusty blows in scoring 21 off 19 balls, was stumped off the bowling of Chawla as the batsman wandered out of his crease as the bowler claimed his 100th IPL wicket, only the fourth player to achieve the feat.
Jadhav (12) was the next man to depart, caught at backward point off the bowling Yadav to leave Delhi on 123-6 after 18 overs.
Angelo Mathews (28) finally launched an assault for Delhi when he struck back-to-back sixes off the bowling of Narine as 20 runs were score off the 19th over.
Coulter-Nile (2) was run out during the last over before Yadav captured his second wicket when he had Mathews well caught by a diving Uthappa behind the stumps.
Delhi Daredevils: Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, JP Duminy (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Angelo Mathews, Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav (wicketkeeper), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Amit Mishra, Imran Tahir, Domnic Joseph
Kolkata Knight Riders: Robin Uthappa (wicketkeeper), Gautam Gambhir (captain), Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav