Delhi Daredevils v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2012, Delhi May 7, 2012

Kolkata evict Delhi from top spot


Kolkata Knight Riders 154 for 4 (McCullum 56, Gambhir 36) beat Delhi Daredevils 153 for 9 (Pathan 36, Kallis 2-20) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The clash between the two most impressive teams in the tournament proved to be a one-sided affair as Kolkata Knight Riders cruised to a six-wicket victory at a packed Feroz Shah Kotla, displacing Delhi Daredevils from the top spot they had held virtually from the start of the tournament.

Jacques Kallis made two big early breakthroughs, Sunil Narine continued to confound batsmen and Rajat Bhatia quietly continued to prove an important cog in Knight Riders' bowling as they stifled Daredevils' formidable batting. The chase of 154 proved straightforward, the only real moment of concern for Knight Riders coming when Brendon McCullum brutally pulled a delivery straight at their dug-out in the 15th over.

Daredevils' two most productive batsmen this season have been Virender Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen, and their consistency had so far shielded the rest of the team's batting from too much scrutiny. With Sehwag finally failing after a record five half-centuries in a row and Pietersen back home, the rest of the line-up couldn't quite deliver.

Brett Lee began with a maiden to David Warner, who was playing his first game of the tournament, but Sehwag and Warner slammed 34 off the next two to provide Daredevils a flying start. Kallis nipped that stand early by slipping in a length delivery after a couple of shorter ones to trap Sehwag lbw. Warner also didn't last long, nicking behind in Kallis' next over.

That over ended with an angry confrontation between Mahela Jayawardene and Gautam Gambhir after Jayawardene survived a loud and confident shout for caught-behind. In the next Kallis over, there was less doubt about whether Jayawardene edged the ball but he was lucky as wicketkeeper McCullum spilled a tough chance to his right. He couldn't capitalise on the lives though, as he was run-out attempting a suicidal single. Gambhir under-armed a direct hit and spiritedly celebrated the wicket.

Bhatia and Narine choked the batsmen, conceding only 25 runs in a five-over stretch in the middle of the innings. The biggest struggle was for the out-of-form Ross Taylor, who scratched around for 16 off 27 deliveries, potentially putting his place in jeopardy. A cameo from Irfan Pathan, who again showed off his clean hitting, lifted Daredevils beyond 150 despite four wickets in the final over from Narine.

That total didn't prove too much of a challenge for Knight Riders, particularly as the Daredevils bowlers provided plenty of freebies down the leg side. Gambhir and McCullum put on their fourth fifty-plus stand in six innings to demoralise Daredevils as they raced to 60 for 0 by the end of the Powerplay. Gambhir was the more fluent of the openers, extending his prolific run this season with a quick 36 before being bowled by fast bowler Varun Aaron, playing his first match in five months.

McCullum tried to muscle the bowling early on but couldn't time it too well, though he gradually grew in confidence and was reverse-sweeping Irfan Pathan by the time he was nearing his half-century. As Gambhir's striking had reduced the asking rate, Kallis didn't need to try anything fancy, sticking to conventional strokes as he and McCullum added 60 before they were dismissed off consecutive deliveries by Umesh Yadav, who regularly reached 150kph.

Those strikes weren't enough, though, for Daredevils to hang on to the No. 1 spot, as Knight Riders coasted to victory with eight deliveries to spare.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rahul on May 8, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    Well i guess it is time to give ross a break. i guess some indian guy will actually fare better than him & there is no harm in trying out rajasthan's Robin Bist who has been highest run getter in Ranji or dillis own puneet bist a wktkeeper and attacking finisher wid the bat or even venu rao. and play either russel or vandermerwe as 4th foreigner thus making bowling more xperienced and adding depth to the batting till no.8 but knowing shewag i see at the most finch cumin in for taylor. also they need to promote either ojha or nagar to 4 and get some international guy at 5 to get some be8er finishers. Dillli will definitely rue letting go both WADE and INGRAM, 2 guys who did so well in international arena during last 1 year.

  • Alex on May 8, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    My batting order to fix DD middle order issues. 1. Jaywardene 2. Naman Ojha (he do not have muscle strength to play lower order) 3. Warner 4. Sehwag 5. Taylor/Russel 6. Rao 7 . Agarkar (better than pathan) 8. Morkel . 9 . Nadeem 10. Yadav 11. Negi

    Sehwag , warner need to depromote themself for the team's cause. Or they are done. Everyone know warner can't play spin and they bring spinner first. So better move warner move 1 down and let Ojha makes his streaky 30-40 contribution. Jaywardene plays well when he leads and anchor. When sehwag other side he is not playing that well. He become spectator and gets out. Same thing with warner as he like to hit shot for shot with sehwag. Split the big guns. If not DD is done and dusted. DD middle order problem continues for past 5 years. DD really do not need warner but they need better middle order Indian/foreign players. Because of taylor out of form DD struggles.

  • roket on May 8, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    I am not opposed to current KKR team selection, it makes sense. That being said, those who are claiming Shakib is not good enough, please check stats. Shakib has a much better average, and strike rate than Narine in this IPL. The econ rates are comparable. I am not claiming Shakib is a better bowler than Narine, however, Shakib is a damn good bowler and a handy batsman to boot in any format of the game. There is no need to downplay how good Shakib is to justify selection of others. Teams can select players based on restrictions (4 int players), match conditions (spinning track), lack of options (mccullum being the wk), or just plain stubborness (giving YK the chance, claiming he is a matchwinner after failing repeatedly. It's the teams choice, fans can only complain and moan. However, there is no reason to downplay someone's abilities when the world knows better, and remember : stats may lie in other situations, but hardly ever in cricket and many other sports for that matter.

  • P on May 8, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    KKR has a wealth of class overseas players, with Shakib, Morgan and Deschoate sitting out, but lacks good Indian batting. For KKR to go forward, Yusuf and Tiwary will have to fire, and soon. Gambhir can't score heavily in everymatch and McCullum is inconsistent- can have 3-4 bad matches on a trot after couple of good knocks.

  • Roland on May 8, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Narine made the correct choice by playing in the IPL.

    Look at Bishoo.............not even on the WI team after being ICC cricketer of the year in 2011.

    Players will continue to choose their own welfare over WI cricket as long as WICB continues with their nepotism.

  • John on May 8, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Unless the ICC ratings lie England's KP and Morgan are 1 and 3 in the T20 batting ratings. Why has Morgan not got a game and why is KP not currently playing? By this reckoning Ross Taylor and Jayawardene are better T20 platers than KP? Seriously? Also Van Der Merwe should be getting an opportunity - a seriously underrated player

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    The match and the table is going interesting day by day...Nice performance by the Knightriders.....i hope this is not a phase where DELHI reverse countdown begins....Let Wait and still 5 maches left for most of the teams.....

  • Ish on May 8, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    from these new posts today, what I have also come to realize is that shakib is the no. 1 all-rounder in the ICC rankings but it's an all-rounder, which means:::: (a)he can bat better than any other bowler and (b) he can bowl better than any other batsman. But it does not mean that Shakib just by merely being all-rounder can be justified as being a specialist batsman or a specialist bowler or for that instance better than any other bowler. For instance, Yuvraj was once the world no. 1 all-rounder for period of 2 years. He won the man of the series in the World-Cup (shakib is not even close to that). But still None of the Indians have still claimed that Yuvraj is better than Sachin, Sehwag, Jadega, Raina, Dinesh Karthik, etc. and they never said that Yuvraj could bowl better than Irfran Patan, Munaf Patel, Rp Sing, Ojha, Sreesanth, etc. I think many of the BD fans are new to cricket, they are not aware of what has transpired in the last few decade, they saw cricket only after shakib.

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    Why was not Bad Boy Gambhir taken to task for taking on one of the most respected skiper's Mahela whn given not out. SRK and Brett Lee's comments on him being the bet captain are just out of support. No wonder Virat replaced him as the VC of the Indian team.

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    'Kolkata evict Delhi from top spot' its a wrong heading since Delhi has played one math less and their f2f is 1:1

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