Kolkata Knight Riders 171 for 6 (Yusuf 42, Tahir 2-46) beat Delhi Daredevils 158 for 6 (Iyer 40, Chawla 4-32) by 13 runs
Sorecard and ball-by-ball details
A vital cameo from Yusuf Pathan followed by a last-over onslaught from Johan Botha helped Kolkata Knight Riders post a challenging total on a slow pitch in Kolkata. Their bowlers, led by Piyush Chawla who took a four-wicket haul, kept them one step ahead of Delhi Daredevils to pull off their sixth win in 11 games. Daredevils, on eight points, were left needing to win their remaining three games to have any chance of making it to playoffs.
Trusting the pitch to play the way it eventually did, Knight Riders had included four spinners in their attack, including Sunil Narine. Batting remained difficult through the match, with none of the batsmen being able to make a half-century. That Knight Riders were able to score 171 despite anyone scoring big underscored the importance of partnerships, and impactful innings. Yusuf's was one such, but there were others, too.
Even though Knight Riders had lost Gautam Gambhir in the fifth over, the batsman edging an outswinger from Zaheer Khan to the wicketkeeper, it had been a good Powerplay as 50 runs were collected. Robin Uthappa had picked up a couple of boundaries through outside edges and had been dropped once by Yuvraj Singh, but had also found timing to score 29 of those runs.
The arrival of spin, though, slowed things down. Amit Mishra bowled three dots at Uthappa in a tight seventh over that cost him just one run. After three more dots at the batsman in his next, he forced a mistake, Uthappa playing across the line and being trapped lbw. At that stage, Mishra's figures read 2-0-2-1.
Knight Riders sent Piyush Chawla up the order to arrest the slide of momentum, but the move turned counter-productive as the batsman struggled to middle the ball. He did hit a four and a six but his 19-ball 22 spanned a period of 5.5 overs starting from the 10th that saw Daredevils rein in the innings. Manish Pandey perished during that phase, chopping on and giving Yuvraj his first wicket this season.
Still, Knight Riders, on 109 for 4 with five over to go and with a battery of spinners in their line-up, looked set for a challenging total. Contrary to his first spell, Mishra's second announced a swing towards the home team.
Bowling the 16th, Mishra was taken for 10 runs that included a six over long-off by Yusuf. The next over, bowled by Tahir, saw Andre Russell hole out in the deep but also cost Daredevils 16 runs. Pathan continued a measured onslaught on the two spinners and helped Knight Riders cross 150 in the penultimate over before falling for 42, his best score this IPL. Botha, with four consecutive boundaries off Zaheer in the last over, provided the perfect finish.
Daredevils' chase started with a solid opening stand of 63 between the impressive Shreyas Iyer, who scored 40, and his new partner, Manoj Tiwary. But as the two repeatedly struggled for timing, it was clear the following batsmen were going to find it tough. Tiwary succumbed first, to Chawla in the 10th over, after a 28-ball 25. Iyer followed in the next. Then once Chawla removed Kedhar Jadhav and Yuvraj in the 14th over, the writing was on the wall.