Pandey, Pathan floor Delhi with impressive display
Kolkata's consistency has been unmatched in the latest edition of the Indian Twenty20 competition, and against Delhi on Monday, the middle order, namely Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey, came to the rescue of their side, struggling at 21 for 3 at one stage. The duo added 110 runs for the fourth wicket and pulled off a narrow four wicket win, with one ball to spare, at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.
The partnership was the first century fourth-wicket partnership in the competition for a team three down for under 25. The hosts, batting first, amassed 168 on a surface that aided stroke-making, with the top five Delhi batsmen finding runs. Delhi's seamers then ripped apart Kolkata's top order, dismissing Gautam Gambhir, Colin de Grandhomme and Robin Uthappa in the first three overs. Pathan took the early initiative and counter-attacked. He targeted Chris Morris and Pat Cummins, who provided him with regulation pace and little movement. Pathan and Pandey then took on Amit Mishra, the only spinner in the team, who was picked ahead of Shahbaz Nadeem, who has gone at 4.9 an over in the competition thus far.
Pathan smashed six fours and two sixes in his 49-ball 69 before he departed in the 15th over. Kolkata then lost the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav and Chris Woakes, in quick succession, but Pandey stood firm when wickets tumbled at the other end. Delhi's bowlers made scoring difficult in the last five overs and conceded just six, six, six and seven. Kolkata required nine in the final over and Pandey, who remained unbeaten on 69 off 49 balls, hit the fourth ball for six and sealed the victory.