Delhi Daredevils 186 for 8 (Nair 68, Billings 54, Brathwaite 34, Russell 3-26, Umesh 3-33) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 159 (Uthappa 72, Zaheer 3-21, Brathwaite 3-47) by 27 runs
Scorecard and ball- by-ball details
Half-centuries from Karun Nair and Sam Billings steered Delhi Daredevils past a poor start and an 11-ball 34 from Carlos Brathwaite provided the late thrust that lifted them to 186. Daredevils defended it with regular strikes that destabilised a Kolkata Knight Riders line-up of considerable depth, eventually bowling them out with nine balls remaining.
Robin Uthappa held the chase together with a 52-ball 72, but wickets fell around him - Zaheer Khan did the early damage, while Brathwaite took three wickets in the middle overs.
It was still anyone's game when Andre Russell joined Uthappa, with Knight Riders five down and requiring two runs a ball. They were keeping up with the asking rate, adding 44 at 12.57 an over, when Amit Mishra made the game's decisive strike, clutching onto a fierce hit from Russell in his follow-through despite his eyes being off the ball. It left Knight Riders needing 36 off the last three overs, and their lower order crumbled, their last five wickets falling in the space of ten balls.
Knight Riders had sent Daredevils in and removed both openers in the first over. Shreyas Iyer played across the line to Russell and fell for his third duck this season, and Quinton de Kock top-edged a pull, looking to fetch a shoulder-high ball from outside off stump.
The loss of Sanju Samson in the fifth over meant Daredevils ended the Powerplay 37 for 3. Nair, though, was already on his way, having capitalised on leg side-ish bowling from the Knight Riders seamers to pick up three fours with flicks and glances. He reverse-swept the first ball after the Powerplay, delivered by Sunil Narine, for another four.
With Billings busy at the other end - he did not play a single dot between the fourth and 27th balls of his innings - Daredevils' run rate never flagged despite the early wickets. Billings biffed Piyush Chawla for two fours in a 15-run 12th over, and Nair swept and reverse-swept Narine for three in the 15th, moving past 50 in the process.
Both batsmen hit a six each in the next two overs, and though Nair and Chris Morris fell in the space of three balls, there was no let-up, as Brathwaite glanced and dabbed the first two balls he faced to the boundary behind the wicket. With Billings and Brathwaite hitting four more sixes between the 18th and 20th overs, Daredevils picked up 66 runs from their last five.
Daredevils had picked four seamers, and the reason became clear as the match wore on, with bounce and a bit of seam movement available to the new-ball bowlers. The bounce accounted for Gautam Gambhir, who closed his bat face too early while looking to work Zaheer into the leg side, and Piyush Chawla - possibly promoted simply for his left-handedness - was lbw playing a similar shot. Knight Riders ended the Powerplay 43 for 2.
Knight Riders remained in sight of their target when Brathwaite conceded 22 in a 10th over full of no-balls, but he dismissed Yusuf Pathan and Suryakumar Yadav either side of it to leave them walking a wickets-in-hand tightrope. When R Sathish picked out deep square-leg in Brathwaite's final over, it came down to Uthappa and Russell.
The dismissals at the other end had contributed to Uthappa cutting out most of the risk from his batting. After four fours in his first 24 balls, most of which was during the Powerplay, he went 18 balls without a boundary. But he changed gear as soon as Russell joined him, going after Mishra's legspin.
Uthappa had hit Mishra for a six and a four in the 15th over, and with Russell also at the crease, it seemed a gamble when Zaheer tossed the ball to the legspinner to bowl the 17th, with Knight Riders needing 51 from 24. Uthappa and Russell took 15 off the first five balls of the over, and Russell almost smacked Mishra flush on the face off the last ball. Somehow, his hands shot up, plucked the ball out of the air, and changed the course of the game.