Kolkata off to winning IPL start

2013-04-03 21:25
Sunil Narine (AP)
Johannesburg - Defending IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) chased down 129 with ease against the Delhi Daredevils in the opening clash of the 2013 edition in Kolkata on Wednesday.

According to the supersport.com website, Gautam Gambhir played a captain’s knock of 42 off 29 while Sunil Narine earlier chipped in with four wickets for just 13 runs as Kolkata cruised to a six-wicket victory.

Narine was instrumental in setting up the win after the hosts won the toss and chose to field first and barring a few blips in their chase, KKR made the win look easy in the end.

Full scorecard

VIDEO: KKR v Delhi, highlights

Kolkata lost Manvinder Bisla early on in the chase when a back of a length ball from Ashish Nehra caused his undoing as the batsman completely misplayed his shot and was sent on his way after contributing just four runs.

Jacques Kallis joined Gambhir out in the middle and the South African departed after chipping in with 23 off 20 as Shahbaz Nadeem struck, but the Knight Riders were still firmly in control at 52 for two after 7.2 overs.

Gambhir continued his charge before he was caught in front of his stumps by Johan Botha, but at 93 for three with close to seven overs still remaining, the hosts were still in the pound seats.

Manoj Tiwary was the last wicket to fall and the job was finished off by Eoin Morgan and Yusuf Pathan with the pair wrapping up proceedings with a 30-run partnership and eight balls left to spare.

The Daredevils struggled in their innings and it was largely thanks to skipper Mahela Jayawardene hitting a scintillating 66 off 52 that the Daredevils managed to pass the 100-run mark.

Brett Lee struck with the first ball of the match to dismiss Unmukt Chand with a brutal away-cutter, which sent the off-stump clattering.

David Warner contributed a crafty 21 off 19 before he fell victim to Narine, who struck immediately after being brought into the attack.

The ball turned just enough to outfox the Australian who edged through to first slip where Kallis took a simple catch.

The visitors looked in a spot of bother at 44 for two after 5.5 overs and it was up to the inexperienced Manprit Juneja to stick around with skipper Jayawardene to rebuild the innings.

The youngster struggled, though, and was soon undone by Lakshmipathy Balaji as Laxmi Shukla took a magnificent catch.

The batsman threw the kitchen sink at the delivery after skipping away from his stumps and skied the ball to deep point where Shukla made good ground and lunged forward to pouch the catch.

The Delhi outfit continued to struggle as Naman Ojha (9), Botha (7), Irfan Pathan (4) and Andre Russell (4) were all dismissed cheaply and the visitors were in all sorts of trouble at 113 for seven after 17.5 overs.

It was up to the skipper to try and lift his side to a competitive total and Jayawardene launched a late-assault during the penultimate over, hitting Lee for a six over mid-wicket and a four ploughed through long-on, but couldn't keep it up and succumbed to a full toss.

Trying to make room for himself, the skipper chipped the ball straight to cover and had to go with just one over left to play and the Daredevils stuck on 125 for eight.

Narine kept the pressure tight in the final over, conceding just three runs from it and ensuring the Daredevils were all bowled out as he picked up a wicket and engineered a run out as the visitors stumbled to a dismal total which, in the end, was easily chased down by the hosts.


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