Delhi Daredevils manages to stay afloat with seven-wicket against Kolkata Knight Riders

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Raipur: Delhi Daredevils rode on useful knocks by David warner and Unmukt Chand to register a seven wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders to keep its hopes alive in IPL 2013.

Chasing a modest 137 on an easy track, Delhi’s innings could have gotten off to a better start. Virender Sehwag seemed to be in good nick as he struck a few lusty blows to the fence. Given a chance when Gambhir dropped him off Brett Lee’s bowling, Sehwag failed to capitalise and departed after he had added 15 to the scorecard. Kallis had struck three balls after being introduced into the attack.

Jayawardene did not last long once Sehwag had departed and was dismissed in the same manner as Sehwag, edging a ball to the slip off Balaji’s bowling.

Under pressure to steer the boat to safety, Unmukt Chand and David Warner were circumspect early on in their respective inning before opening up. For young Chand, this was the perfect opportunity to cement his place in the team.

Warner took his time, but once he got his eye in, he was at his belligerent best. Among some of his best strokes was a pull off Kallis’ bowling that he sent over the ropes. At the other end, Chand took his time but showed a lot of maturity by allowing the experienced Warner to take most of the strike. An upper cut off Kallis’ bowling was a clear indication of Chand’s talent. The pair batted sensibly, exercising caution and waited for the bad ball to get the odd boundary or six. The duo kept the scoreboard ticking without resorting to rash strokes.

KKR failed to consolidate its position after it had managed to dislodge the two in-form openers. Lee and Balaji bowled well but were unable to make further inroads into the Delhi Daredevils’ batting line-up. Kallis, on the other hand was a touch expensive as he conceded 29 runs off his three overs. Lee struck in the seventeenth over to remove Chand when the latter miscued a pulled stroke. But, it was too little too late.

Delhi Daredevils produced a commendable bowling performance and were complemented by brilliant fielding which enabled them to restrict defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders to 136 for seven in a Pepsi Indian Premier League match, here today.

Incidentally, KKR’s total got some sort of respectability due to Delhi’s domestic veterans Rajat Bhatia (26 not out) and Sumit Narwal (23, 15 balls, 4×4).

The duo added 30 runs in only three overs as KKR managed to cross 130-run mark despite being five down for 50 even before the halfway mark.

Brett Lee (16 not out) also used the long handle to good effect as Ashish Nehra (1/37) gave away 16 runs in the final over of the innings.

Irfan Pathan (1/16), Shahbaz Nadeem (1/23), Morne Morkel (1/22) bowled well while Umesh Yadav (2/36) was a tad expensive although he got couple of wickets.

Daredevils got an important breakthrough off the second delivery of the match when rival skipper Gautam Gambhir (0) was unlucky to be run-out. Irfan did well on his follow through as Gambhir trying to rush for a quick single from the non-striker end fell short of his ground.

With pitch offering some lateral movement, Umesh bowled a fantastic first over where he swung the ball away from the batsman at a brisk pace. One such delivery saw Manvinder Bisla (4) trying to make room for a shot over extra cover only to see his off-stump knocked back.

Yusuf Pathan (20) played and missed a number of deliveries before hitting Morkel over long-on for a six but was out of the very next delivery when the South African speedster pitched it further up.

He again tried to hoick it but only managed the top edge and Irfan, who was positioned at ’45’, took a well-judged catch running backwards.

From 37 for three, it soon became 50 for five as Eoin Morgan (10) and Jacques Kallis (12) were also back in the dug-out. While Umesh covered some ground to take a good catch at deep square leg off Shahbaz Nadeem’s bowling, Rohrer’s effort should be ranked among the top five catches in the league.

Irfan bowled one wide outside the off-stump as Kallis tried to slice it over point. The Aussie timed his jump to perfection as he plucked off one of the most amazing catches with his left hand.

With the bowling unit sticking to their plan, it became increasingly difficult for the likes of Rajat Bhatia and Debabrata Das (18, 1×4, 1×6) to up the ante.

The beefy Das did hit Nadeem for a straight six but didn’t have the ability to hit out of trouble. Nehra sorted Das out with a short delivery that climbed up on him as he tried to play a pull shot but managed an edge which was taken by Kedar Jadhav.

The duo of Bhatia and Das added 34 runs for the sixth wicket but consumed nearly seven overs in the process.

Brief Scores: Kolkata knight Riders 136 for seven wickets (Rajat Bhatia 26*, Sumit Narwal 23; Umesh Yadav 2-36) lost to Delhi Daredevils 137 for three wickets (David Warner 66*, Unmukt Chand 37; Brett Lee 1-26, Jacques Kallis 1-29)

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