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Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa help Kolkata Knight Riders thrash Delhi Daredevils

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa struck their second successive half-centuries and century partnership to guide the former champions to an easy win over Delhi Daredevils

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 28, 2017 20:35 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
IPL 2017,Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi daredevils,KKR vs DD
Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Robin Uthappa (L) celebrates alongside team captain Gautam Gambhir (R) after scoring a half-century during the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on April 28.(AFP)

Kolkata Knight Riders did the double on Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2017, the seven-wicket win helping them motor along towards a play-off berth. The Knights restricted Delhi Daredevils to 160 and got there in 16.2 overs to consolidate their position on top of the standings with 14 points from nine games. This was Delhi Daredevils’ fourth successive loss, the run beginning against KKR at home. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

En route, KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir got to his 35th IPL half-century, the maximum in the competition and crossed the 6000 T20 runs. He and Robin Uthappa added 108 for the second wicket that sealed the deal after the bowlers had a good afternoon.

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It wouldn’t have been that easy had Uthappa been snapped by either Amit Mishra or Sanju Samson when one from tearaway quick Kagiso Rabada climbed on him. Mishra and Samson converged but neither took the catch. To call it a school-level error would be undermining the level of cricket played in schools.

Uthappa was on nine then and like against Rising Pune Super Giant, he didn’t need a second invitation.

Hit on the knee while keeping, he got to his fourth half-century. Picking the length early and opening his shoulders like he did to Chris Morris in the eighth over, Uthappa punished anything that was slightly short.

Gambhir the glue

Uthappa had the flashier shots but Gambhir was the glue that held the innings together.

But when Corey Anderson pitched one wide outside the off-stump, Gambhir didn’t let the opportunity go. Ditto when Pat Cummins bowled at his legs. And when Amit Mishra came on, Gambhir hit him for two fours.

Before Corey Anderson was run-out, all wickets were leg-before decisions. When Chris Woakes took a brilliant catch to show that KKR can manage other modes of dismissals, KKR had allowed Delhi Dardevils only 29 in the last five overs during which they also took four wickets.

The openers looked to be setting a target much bigger but Sunil Narine applied the brakes in the fifth over dismissing Karun Nair with one that skidded. Just before that and for a long while afterwards, Delhi Daredevils didn’t get a boundary.

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For 46 balls to be precise. A large part of the reason was the way Kuleep Yadav bowled, again. He could have got Anderson caught and bowled twice in the 17th over.

By the time Sanju Samson swept Kuldeep Yadav for a six, taking Delhi Daredevils to 89/1 after 11.1 overs, KKR had pulled things back nicely.

Nathan Coulter-Nile then got one to swing in and though it looked like missing leg, Rishab Pant was declared out. The burly Australian ended the over with another leg-before dismissal, getting Shreyas Iyer.

Wickets, bowling coach L Balaji had said before the decimation of Royal Challengers Bangalore, are the key to stopping runs. Led by Coulter-Nile, who took 3/34, his bowlers executed that to a tee.

First Published: Apr 28, 2017 17:01 IST