The Kolkata Knight Riders climbed to the top of the VIVO IPL 2017 standings after they defeated the Delhi Daredevils by 4 wickets in a thrilling encounter on Monday evening. Given a target of 169, KKR slipped to 21 for 3 in the third over, but recovered through a massive partnership between Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan to chase down the runs. There was a bit of drama at the fag end of the chase, but Manish held his nerve and took his team across the finish line.
169 appeared a chase able score on the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch which offered a bit of carry to the quick bowlers. However, the visitors were pushed onto the backfoot at the very start of the run-chase. Colin de Grandhomme (opening the innings for the first time since 2010) was dismissed in the first over, a spectacular grab by Rishabh Pant pulled the curtains on Robin Uthappa’s innings in the second over, and Zaheer Khan outsmarted his opposite number Gautam Gambhir in the third over.
Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan then got together and did the repair job brilliantly. They were cautious early on, but never let any bad delivery go unpunished. Pat Cummins was at the receiving end in the sixth over, with Yusuf collecting two boundaries and Manish hitting one through midwicket. KKR 49 for 3 after six.
Then came the acceleration; Yusuf hit Mohammed Shami for a six in the eighth over and Manish deposited Amit Mishra into the stands in the ninth. The pair then kept the scoreboard ticking, before Manish hit Angelo Mathews for a six in the thirteenth over. Yusuf brought up his half-century in style – depositing Zaheer Khan into the stands in the bowler’s final over, while Manish collected a boundary through fine-leg in the same over. KKR 125-3 after 14 overs.
Yusuf was dismissed for 59 (39 balls, 6 fours, 2 sixes) in the fifteenth over, and Suryakumar Yadav hit one down the throat of mid-off in the eighteenth. KKR needed nine at the start of the last over and lost Chris Woakes– stumped second ball off Amit Mishra. Manish got back on strike with his team needing eight off the final three balls; he picked the ball from wide outside the off-stump and cleared the man at long-on. The following delivery, he drove one through extra cover and picked up a brace to complete the job. Manish remained unconquered on 69, made from 49 balls and studded with four boundaries and three sixes.
For the home side, the skipper Zaheer Khan was the most successful bowler; despite conceding 15 runs in his final over, he finished with figures of 2-28 from his four overs. Cummins, Chris Morris and Mishra were the other wicket-takers.
Earlier in the evening, the Delhi Daredevils were helped by contributions from several batsmen that took them to 168-7. Sanju Samson’s 39 was the top-score of the innings, while Rishabh Pant struck a few meaty blows and made 38 in the latter part of the innings.
The hosts got off to a brisk start after opting to bat first on a bald surface. The opening pair of Sam Billings, who collected 19 of his 21 runs through the leg-side, and Samson added 53 before the field restrictions were relaxed. But first ball after the powerplay, Billings nicked the KKR debutant Nathan Coulter-Nile to the wicket-keeper. Samson impressed with his timing and his shot selection; he drove fluently and worked the ball through the leg-side as he raced to 39 from 24 balls before nicking Umesh Yadav down the leg-side.
ShreyasIyer (26 from 17 balls) and Karun Nair (21 from 27 balls) kept things ticking in the middle overs; the third wicket pair added 43 runs at just over a run-a-ball before both of them were dismissed in successive overs.
DD were 110 after 15 overs and needed someone to up the ante. Young Rishabh Pant answered his team’s call as he scored 38 from 16 balls; the teenager collected 26 runs off Umesh Yadav, hitting the India speedster for three sixes and two fours in the 17th over. The left-hander was dismissed at the start of the nineteenth over when he threw his bat at a wide delivery from Coulter-Nile. Chris Morris collected two boundaries in the final over before he was dismissed; DD finished their twenty overs at 168-7.
For KKR, Nathan Coulter-Nile – playing his first IPL match for the Kolkata Knight Riders – was the most successful bowler. The Aussie quick returned with figures of 3-22; he could have had a five-wicket haul, but two catches were grassed in his final over. Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav (1-53) and Sunil Narine (1-20) were the other wicket-takers.
Delhi Daredevils: 168-7 (Sanju Samson 39, Rishabh Pant 38, Nathan Coulter-Nile 3-22) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders: 169-6 in 19.5 Overs(Manish Pandey 69*, Yusuf Pathan 59, Zaheer Khan 2-28, Pat Cummins 2-39)
Man of the Match: Nathan Coulter-Nile