Gambhir, Uthappa end KKR's losing streak
Kolkata Knight Riders 161 for 2 (Gambhir 69, Uthappa 47) beat Delhi Daredevils 160 for 5 (Duminy 40*, Karthik 36, Shakib 1-13) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa put together their second century stand in two matches, and unlike the spectacular collapse that followed against Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders did not mess up to win comfortably against Delhi Daredevils. Gambhir and Uthappa added 106 in 11.5 overs after Knight Riders had allowed Daredevils to recover to 160 for 5, with JP Duminy and Kedar Jadhav looting 54 off the last four overs.
The victory broke a run of four straight defeats for Knight Riders, while Daredevils crashed to their third successive loss at home. While Knight Riders finally converted a strong performance into a win, Daredevils were unable to defend a decent total yet again. Their previous two losses were by margins of eight and seven wickets.
About the only clear opportunity Daredevils created, barring the usual odd mishit falling in vacant areas, was when Gautam Gambhir feathered a slower one from Siddarth Kaul, but the wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik failed to take the ball as it dipped in front of him. That was in the sixth over, and by that time, Knight Riders had already gone past 50.
Mohammed Shami did begin with a testing opening over, but Daredevils were never able to create any pressure. Gambhir and Uthappa began with a four each in the second over off Wayne Parnell. Uthappa took Shami for successive boundaries in the next over, and Knight Riders were always in front for the rest of the chase.
Gambhir is increasingly looking nothing like the batsman who struggled so much to make a single run at the start of the season. His second scoring shot was an emphatic pulled four off Parnell. His timing was so good at times that a clip off the pad flew for six over deep midwicket off Laxmi Shukla. A forward stride and a lofted four over extra cover off Kaul was more evidence of the old touch returning.
At the other end, Uthappa hit Shahbaz Nadeem for successive boundaries to bring up the hundred of the stand. He went leg-before to Parnell for 47 off 34, Knight Riders needing 55 off 49 from that point. There were to be no flutters this time, as Gambhir stayed in the middle to push the score past 150 before he was caught behind off Parnell for 69 off 56. Knight Riders reached home in the 19th over, the ten deliveries to spare further driving home the ease of the win.
Daredevils were tied down for 16 overs when they batted, and were 105 for 5 when Duminy and Jadhav came together. The openers weren't able to get going and Kevin Pietersen could not handle the spinners before running himself out. Karthik made a quick 36, but Daredevils still needed a final push if they were to make a competitive total. Duminy and Jadhav provided that, even taking Sunil Narine for 29 in his last two overs, but it barely tested Gambhir and Uthappa.
Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo