Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders rode on skipper Gautam Gambhir’s strategic planning and spinner Sunil Narine’s four-for to win the IPL 6 opener against a depleted Delhi Daredevils by six wickets at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata yesterday. Without any star players, skipper Mahela Jayawardene came to the Daredevils’ rescue as his sensible knock of 66 off 52 balls helped Daredevils reach a total of 128.
But the 128-run target never proved to be too threatening even when Kolkata lost a few wickets after skipper Gautam Gambhir had set the platform with a 42-run knock. Yusuf Pathan and Eoin Morgan stayed unbeaten on 18 and 14 runs respectively to guide them home.
Everything went as per plan for the KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir’s plan after he won the toss and put Daredevils up front in front of a jam-packed Eden Gardens.
Brett Lee gave KKR the ideal start cleaning up Unmukt Chand (0) with the very first ball of the championship while Narine and Rajat Bhatia, with his military medium knocked the stuffing out of the opponents sharing six wickets between them.
The absence of big guns like Virender Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen really hurt the Daredevils cause as none other than Jayawardene and David Warner (21) could post a double-digit score.
Skipper Jayawardene, who was out of action due to a finger injury, then steadied the ship with a 44-run second wicket stand with Warner, but in the end that proved too little.
SCORES IN BRIEF
DELHI DAREDEVILS: 128 all out in 20 overs (Jayawardene 66, Warner 21; Narine 4-13, Bhatia 2-23)
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: 129 for 4 in 18.4 overs (Gambhir 42, Kallis 23; Nadeem 2-22, Nehra 1-20)
Result: KKR win by 6 wickets.
Man-of-the-match: Sunil Narine.