NEW DELHI, May 7: Brendon McCullum composed knock of 56 (44 balls, seven fours) and an all-round show by Jacques Kallis (two for 20 and 30, 27 balls, three fours) led Kolkata Knight Riders’ to a comfortable six-wicket victory against Delhi Daredevils in the high-intensity DLF Indian Premier League game at the Ferozshah Kotla here tonight.
The victory, achieved despite the fall of three wickets in 14 deliveries, took Kolkata Knight Riders to the top of the table with 17 points from 12 games while Delhi Daredevils’ 16 points from 11 matches left it in the second place, two points clear of Mumbai Indians.
A 68-run partnership between McCullum and skipper Gautam Gambhir (33, 18 balls, four fours, one six) left Kolkata Knight Riders in control. After Gambhir was bowled an express delivery from Varun Aaron, Kallis helped McCullum during a calm 60-run stand that served as an insurance for the fall of some wickets during the chase.
Kallis and McCullum were dismissed off successive deliveries by Umesh Yadav in the 16th over but the Kolkata Knight Riders top-order had done enough to ensure that the team would take home two points.
Earlier, Irfan Pathan’s remarkable cameo (36, 22 balls, four fours, one six) helped the Delhi Daredevils’ later-order batting come through a stern test as the team posted a challenging 153 for eight in its 20 overs. Delhi Daredevils rallied from 108 for four and picked up 45 runs in the fine five overs. The total is the second highest conceded by the Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers this season behind the 164 that Rajasthan Royals scored on April 8 in Jaipur.
Batting first on winning the toss, the Delhi Daredevils top-order batsmen got off to starts but the Kolkata Knight Riders attack, led by the wily Jacques Kallis, and fielders did not let them flourish long enough to make a huge contribution.
The vastly experienced Kallis landed a double strike to haul Kolkata Knight Riders back in the game after Virender Sehwag and David Warner set the team off on to a flyer of a start. Warner and Sehwag put on 40 for the opening wicket in just 20 deliveries, despite the left-handed opener playing out a maiden over to Brett Lee at the start of the game.
Sehwag’s belligerence came to end when Kallis trapped him in front after he had made 23 off nine deliveries (three fours, one six) while Warner (21, 19 balls, two fours, one six), who filled the vacancy caused by Kevin Pietersen’s departure for National duty in England, was caught behind off the bottom-edge when he slashed Kallis.
Vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor held the middle-order together with a resolute 46-run partnership that all but beat back Kolkata Knight Riders’ determined effort to peg the home side down to a low score. Dropped early in his innings, Jayawardene was run out for 30 (27 balls, three fours, one six) and Taylor holed out to the deep after making 16 (27 balls).
It was left to Irfan Pathan to ensure that the home side would have a competitive total to bowl with. The home side lost four wickets in the final over, Naman Ojha and Irfan Pathan to the mystery spinner Narine while Morne Morkel and Varun Aaron were run out as the side scrambled to add a few critical runs.
Jacques Kallis gave Delhi Daredevils two early blows as he picked up both the openers in two consecutive overs. Then Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor started the rebuilding work as they built up a partnership of 46 runs. The turning point of the match came in 12th over as a mix up between the batsmen in the middle led to Mahela Jayawardene' run out from a direct hit by Gautam Gambhir.
Karbonn Kamal Catch: Irfan Pathan
DLF Maximum 6s: David Warner
Man of the match: Jacques Kallis
Delhi Daredevils will next play against Deccan Chargers at Rajiv Gandhi Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad on May 10.