The idea floated by coach John Buchanan to have more foreigners in the playing XI suffered a huge setback. The foreign players let him down at the Wanderers on Sunday night and the Kolkata Knight Riders’ coach will do well to have more faith in the Indian batsmen.
The four foreigners’ combined effort was a mere 8 in the KKR team’s total of 123 for eight. The lion share of the runs came from the blades of Sourav Ganguly (44) and the Ajit Agarkar (39). The KKR team received a fillip, not from Buchanan’s foreigners but home-bred Indians.
But the total was less than challenging for a rampaging team like the Daredevils.
The Daredevils finally beat KKR by seven wickets to move to the top of the table with 14 points from nine matches.
Put in to bat, it seemed that Brendon McCullum would show glimpses of his first IPL innings (158 n.o. in Bangalore in April 2008) when he smashed Ashish Nehra for a six in the first over. But a poor lbw decision by umpire Suresh Shastri, off the next delivery, when the ball appeared to travel outside the off-stump was enough for Daredevils to strike regularly and seal the match inside the first five overs.
There is something about bowlers striking not once but twice in an over regularly in this tournament. Following McCullum’s dismissal, Nehra had KKR’s best batsman of the tournament Brad Hodge edge to lone slip.
Making Buchanan’s import theory look silly was Dirk Nannes, who consumed the third of the four foreigners in his first over. After the Power Play, leg-spinner Amit Mishra struck twice in his first over to have half the opposition back in the dug out for only 46.If the earlier drubbings in the tournament weren’t enough, here was another one waiting for the most hapless team in the tournament.
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Kolkata Knight Riders
B McCullum lbw b Nehra 6 (3b, 1x6), S Ganguly c Warner b Nannes 44 (45b, 1x4, 2x6), B Hodge c de Villiers b Nehra 0 (3b), MN van Wyk c Bhatia b Nannes 0 (2b), Yashpal Singh c Bhatia b Mishra 13 (20b, 2x4), WP Saha c Karthik b Mishra 0 (1b), M Henriques st Karthik b Mishra 2 (8b), A Agarkar c Manhas b Sangwan 39 (29b, 3x4, 2x6), M Kartik not out 11 (10b)
Extras (lb-2, w-5, nb-1) 8
Total (for 8 wkts) 123
Fall of wkts: 1-7, 2-7, 3-9, 4-45, 5-46, 6-56, 7-88, 8-123
Bowling: A Nehra 4-0-292 (2w), D Nannes 4-0-15-2 (2w), Sangwan 3-0-32-1 (1w), M Dilshan 4-0-18-0, A Mishra 4-0-14-3 (1nb), R Bhatia 1-0-13-0.
G Gambhir c Hodge b Henriques 18 (24b, 3x4), D Warner c Wyk b Sharma 36 (23b, 5x4, 1x6), AB de Villiers not out 40 (32b, 5x4), T Dilshan c Henriques b Sharma 1 (2b), D Karthik not out 17 (22b)
Extras (b-2, lb-5, w-6) 13
Total: (for 3 wkts in 17.3 ovs) 125
Fall of wkts: 1-53, 2-66, 3-69
Bowling: I Sharma 4-0-23-2, M Henriques 4-0-35-1, A Agarkar 3-0-19-0, S Sarkar 1.1-0-19-0, B Hodge 1-0-2-0, M Kartik 4-0-20-0.