Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Delhi Daredevils stand-in captain Dinesh Karthik and South Africa all-rounder Jean Paul (JP) Duminy both scored half-centuries to steer their side home in a tense win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai.
Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir would have been regretting his decision to bat first as Jacques Kallis and he himself were both dismissed for ducks.
Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa stabilised the innings with a 64-run partnership before Pandey was clean bowled by Shahbaz Nadeem for 48 off 42 balls, which included five boundaries.
Uthappa and Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan kept the runs flowing with a 57-run partnership, during which Uthappa brought up his half-century, before he was caught by Ross Taylor at deep midwicket off the bowling of Jaydev Unadkat.
Uthappa’s fantastic knock of 55 came off 41 balls and included six boundaries and a six.
Yusuf Pathan only made 11 runs before he was cleaned up by Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Al Hasan went on to make a quickfire 30 as the Knight Riders finished on 166/5 off their 20 overs.
Coulter-Nile was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Unadkat, Nadeem and Mohammed Shami chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 167 to win, the Daredevils got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Murali Vijay was run out by Pandey for a duck.
Mayank Agarwal managed to score 26 runs before he was caught by Piyush Chawla at square leg off the bowling of Morne Morkel.
Taylor failed to have an impact with the bat as he was clean bowled by Kallis for just six runs.
Karthik and Duminy steadied the innings with a vital 58-run partnership, during which Karthik registered his half-century, before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Sunil Narine.
Karthik’s superb knock of 56 came off 40 balls and included five boundaries and two sixes.
Manoj Tiwary only made eight runs before he was caught by Narine at third man off the bowling of Morkel.
James Neesham also made eight runs before he was caught by Pathan at deep midwicket off the bowling of Chawla.
Needing six runs to win off the last four balls, Duminy sealed the deal with one hit as he smashed the very next delivery from Chawla way over the deep backward square leg boundary.
Duminy finished on 52 off 35 balls, which included three boundaries and three sixes.
Morkel was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Kallis, Chawla and Narine claimed one wicket each.
Gambhir was disappointed with the loss, and said: “Once you get 165 on any kind of wicket you feel you are in with a chance, [especially] with the kind of attack we have. JP played an unbelievable innings. Apparently there was some dew, it gets difficult for the spinners when there is some dew.”
Karthik was pleased with his team’s performance, and said: “When it is 170, you are always behind the asking rate. Being captain you want to show the boys it can be done. One on the board. Let us take it slow. Good start. Boys are pumped up. We have a solid coach who does not get too excited by these things. JP is key to our batting line-up.”
Duminy was named Man of the Match, and said: “I was not calm on the inside that is for sure. I kept communicating with my partner. You got to target certain bowlers that you fancy yourself to take on. As anyone would know, Narine is not the one you want to take on. It wasn’t a plan [to take on Morne]. I was lucky, he is a quality bowler and am sure next time we play he will try to get my head off.”