IPL desk in Mumbai 07 May 2012 - 11:56pm IST
Report: Match 51 – DD v KKR
Knight Riders emerge victorious out of Devils’ den to top points table
Gambhir and Brendon McCullum took the Kotla by storm, helping KKR to the fastest team fifty in IPL 2012, in 30 balls. The Kiwi opener went after the pacers, while Gambhir attacked the in-form left-arm spinner, Shahbaz Nadeem. The KKR skipper made his way back to the dugout when Varun Aaron hit the stumps. Umesh Yadav had dropped him in the deep off the previous delivery. Gambhir scored 36 off 21 balls.
Gambhir’s departure put an end to the opening stand at 68, but not to McCullum’s butchery. He continued to clobber all the bowlers en route to a match-winning 56. With this knock, the wicketkeeper-batsman ended a streak of 17 innings without an IPL half-century. He struck seven fours during his 44-ball innings.
McCullum was the second of the two consecutive wickets taken by Yadav in the 16th over to peg KKR back a bit. Yadav produced two bouncers to get rid of Kallis and McCullum, when KKR were cruising with a required run-rate of six. The strikes, though, came a bit too late for the hosts as KKR completed a comfortable win in 18.4 overs.
Earlier, after electing to bat first, Sehwag was in his element, looking set to continue his smashing form in IPL 2012. He plundered 23 runs in nine deliveries before Jacques Kallis trapped him plumb in front of the wicket. David Warner, playing his first game of IPL 2012, took time to find his feet as he played out a maiden over from Brett Lee to begin DD’s innings. In his next over, however, Lee was tonked for a four and a six by the Australian dynamite. The dangerous-looking knock was cut short by Kallis, who bowled out his four overs in a single spell that produced figures of two for 20.
Mahela Jayawardene (30) walked in and began what turned out to be a very charmed life at the crease. He was let off by the umpire when, batting on three, he seemed to have nicked one to the wicketkeeper. An over later Brendon McCullum missed a chance to catch him. The umpire’s decision to turn down the appeal against Jayawardene didn’t go down too well with the KKR skipper and he let the batsman know it in as many words. Things heated up between the two as the characteristically calm Sri Lankan too lost his cool. The incident brought out the aggression in both players and was a part of the discussion during the strategic timeout.
While Jayawardene played a couple of attacking shots for boundaries, Gambhir had the last laugh when he produced a splendid piece of fielding to run the batsman out with a direct hit.
Ross Taylor’s struggle for form continued as was evident during his scratchy 27-ball stay at the wicket for just 16 runs. With the DD innings losing its way, Irfan Pathan chipped in with a valuable cameo of 36 off 22 balls, including four boundaries and a six. Sunil Narine remained a mystery for most of the batsmen as his spell of four overs produced 23 runs and two wickets.
Man-of-the-Match: Jacques Kallis for his all-round effort that saw him score 30 runs off 27 balls and record bowling figures of two for 20