KOLKATA: With KKR registering a six wicket win against Delhi Daredevils in the inaugural match of IPL season 6, Kolkata on Wednesday erupted in joy with KKR fans celebrating the victory by dancing on the streets and cheering for the home team.
The celebration was kicked off by KKR owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan along with actress Deepika Padukone, as the duo took a victory lap with SRK throwing his patent flying kisses towards the crowd, who cheered on their favourite actor.
The crowd which was about to leave, stood on the stands and waved at Shah Rukh and Deepika, who looked ravishing in skin tight jeans, white top and long boots.
Seeing Shah Rukh Khan taking a victory lap, cricket maestro Sunil Gavaskar said, “He is very much involved with the team. He is not only the owner of the team but also the brand ambassador of the state.”
Cricket enthusiasts coming down to the streets and celebrating the victory was a common scene in several parts of the city as they burst crackers and waved the KKR flag.
As soon as the victory shot was hit, the entire crowd in Eden Gardens which was filled to the brim stood up to offer a standing ovation to the winning team, with cries of ‘Korbo Lorbo Jeeto Re’ — the slogan of KKR.
Knight Riders gallop to victory
After the spectacular opening ceremony on Tuesday, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) brought more joy to the city with a thumping six-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the opening encounter of IPL-VI at the Eden Gardens.
Chasing a target of 129, KKR won with eight balls to spare, thanks to skipper Gautam Gambhir’s sizzling 42 off 29 balls with five fours and one six off Irfan Pathan.
Gambhir’s decision to field first proved right as the Daredevils batsmen floundered against some clever bowling by the hosts. Despite losing Manvinder Bisla early, KKR was never in trouble while chasing the modest total.
Gambhir and Jacques Kallis’ 47-run partnership for the second wicket put Knight Riders on course before the 41-run association for the next wicket between the KKR captain and Manoj Tiwary sealed Daredevils’ fate.
It was pleasing to see KKR’s key players Gambhir and Narine, who was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match for his four for 13 off four overs, find their rhythm from the word go. Gambhir was aggression-personified, both while handling his bowlers and at the crease.
Peach of a delivery
Disaster struck Delhi off the first ball from Brett Lee, who produced a beauty which pitched and swung to literally crack Unmukt Chand’s off-stump. Captain Mahela Jayawardene, who joined David Warner, steadied the innings.
The 44-run second-wicket stand gave Daredevils a launch pad before Sunil Narine was introduced in the sixth over. Warner was bamboozled by one that went the other way, forcing the Aussie to snick it to Kallis in the slips.
Even as the other Delhi batsmen, from the young Manpreet Juneja to the experienced Irfan Pathan, were reckless in their shot selection, Jayawardene stood tall amid the ruins. The Sri Lankan’s 52-ball 66, which included eight fours and a well-timed flick for six off Lee, was full of elegance and perfect placements.
Narine, playing in his second IPL, baffled the Delhi batsmen with his guile and variety. Rajat Bhatia, with his subtle change of pace and cutters, was an able foil and finished with two for 23.
Lee, despite a wicket off the first delivery, turned out to be expensive, as he conceded 40 in his four-over spell.
Delhi Daredevils: Unmukt Chand b Lee 0 (1b), David Warner c Kallis b Narine 21 (19b, 4×4), Mahela Jayawardene c Narine b Lee 66 (52b, 8×4, 1×6), Manpreet Juneja c Shukla b Balaji 8 (9b, 1×4), Naman Ojha c Lee b Bhatia 9 (9b, 1×4), Johan Botha lbw b Bhatia 7 (6b, 1×4), Irfan Pathan c Tiwary b Narine 4 (7b), Andre Russell c & b Narine 4 (8b), Shahbaz Nadeem (run out) 4 (8b), Ashish Nehra c Shukla b Narine 0 (1b), Umesh Yadav (not out) 0 (0b); Extras (b-1, w-4): 5; Total (in 20 overs): 128.
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Unmukt), 2-44 (Warner), 3-59 (Juneja), 4-79 (Ojha), 5-88 (Botha), 6-97 (Pathan), 7-113 (Russell), 8-125 (Jayawardene), 9-128 (Nehra).
Kolkata Knight Riders bowling: Lee 4-0-40-2, Kallis 3-0-23-0, Balaji 4-0-20-1, Narine 4-0-13-4, Bhatia 4-0-23-2, Shukla 1-0-8-0.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Manvinder Bisla c Chand b Nehra 4 (9b, 1×4), Gautam Gambhir lbw b Botha 42 (29b, 5×4, 1×6), Jacques Kallis c Unmukt b Nadeem 23 (20b, 5×4), Manoj Tiwary c Ojha b Nadeem 23 (23b, 2×4), Eoin Morgan (not out) 14 (15b, 1×4), Yusuf Pathan (not out) 18 (16b, 1×6); Extras (lb-2, w-3): 5; Total (for four wkts. in 18.4 overs): 129.
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Bisla), 2-52 (Kallis), 3-93 (Gambhir), 4-99 (Tiwary).
Delhi Daredevils bowling: Pathan 2-1-15-0, Nehra 3-0-20-1, Umesh 3-0-23-0, Nadeem 4-0-22-2, Botha 3.4-0-23-1, Russell 3-0-24-0.
Man-of-the-match: Sunil Narine.