Kolkata Knight Riders 99 for 1 (Gambhir 38*, Uthappa 35) beat Delhi Dardevils 98 (De Kock 17, Hogg 3-19, Russell 3-24) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Brad Hogg finished with figures of 4-1-19-3 © BCCI
On a greenish Eden Gardens pitch, Kolkata Knight Riders responded the way New Zealand had done at the World Twenty20: horses for courses. Allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, who had featured in each of Knight Riders’ 13 matches last season, was benched, as was the more experienced Morne Morkel. The hosts were also handicapped by the absence of Sunil Narine who had returned home, following his father’s death.
After the fall of Karun Nair within six overs, Gautam Gambhir deployed two slips and brought himself at short leg. Even in the 16th over Gambhir had a two-man strong slip cordon. And within the eighteenth over Delhi Daredevils were trussed up for 98, which Knight Riders chased with nine wickets and 35 balls to spare.
Andre Russell and John Hastings, taking Morne’s place, ran in hard and slammed the deck. Russell, having joined the side after a quick trip to West Indies, saw his first ball soar over the covers for a four, but bounced back and laid down Knight Riders’ marker.
Quinton de Kock, who had pulled Umesh Yadav for back-to-back boundaries, was the first to go when he was undone by extra bounce, skewing a catch to mid-off. Three balls later, Shreyas Iyer was trapped lbw for a duck. Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair exited in successive overs and Hastings capped the powerplay with a wicket maiden. By then, Daredevils were reduced to 35 for 4.
Pawan Negi, who was promoted to No.6, had a proper struggle, swishing and missing balls outside off. His misery came to an end when he was dismissed for 11 off 19 balls by Brad Hogg in his first over, the tenth of the innings. Carlos Brathwaite, who fired West Indies to their second World T20 title last week, on IPL debut, momentarily broke the shackles with a slog swept six over cow corner. Two balls later, however, he was taken down by a skiddy googly from Piyush Chawla. The legspinner and Hogg then toyed with the opposition, juxtaposing googlies with sliders.
Full report to follow
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo