Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir led by example to help his side register a comfortable eight-wicket win over the Delhi Daredevils in their own backyard.
Gambhir smashed a magnificent half-century and was well supported by opening batsman Robin Uthappa, who scored 47.
Delhi skipper Kevin Pietersen would have been regretting his decision to bat first after opening batsman Quinton de Kock was caught by Gambhir at mid-on off the bowling of Umesh Yadav for 10 runs.
Pietersen failed to have an impact yet again as he was run out by Uthappa for just six runs.
Murali Vijay managed to make 24 runs before he was caught by Sunil Narine at long-on off the bowling of Jacques Kallis.
Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik made a quickfire 36 before he was caught by Kallis at deep backward square leg off the bowling of Shakib Al Hasan.
Laxmi Shukla only made 10 runs before he was clean bowled by Narine.
The Daredevils eventually finished on 160/5 off their 20 overs thanks to Jean Paul (JP) Duminy and Kedar Jadhav’s unbeaten 55-run partnership.
Duminy ended up scoring 40 off 28 balls, which included three sixes, while Jadhav remained undefeated on 26 off 15 deliveries, which included three boundaries and a six.
Kallis, Yadav, Al Hasan and Narine all picked up one wicket apiece.
Chasing 161 to win, the Knight Riders got off to a fantastic start as Uthappa and Gambhir amassed a 106-run partnership before Uthappa was given out lbw off the bowling of Wayne Parnell.
Uthappa’s excellent knock of 47 came off 34 balls and included five boundaries and a six.
Gambhir went on to score 69 off 56 deliveries, which included five boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Parnell.
Manish Pandey and Kallis had no issues mopping up the remaining runs.
Parnell took two wickets, while all the other bowlers came up short.
Gambhir, who was named Man of the Match, was pleased with his team’s performance, and said: “Especially after the last game, we wanted to finish this game. We wanted someone to bat through and luckily it was me today. Runs on the board always benefit, but this was a good wicket – it was coming on nicely. Robin and I got the start. We have a lot of talent in the team and we need to finish more games. The way I started the tournament, I couldn’t get a run. I was smiling from outside but deep down I was anxious.”