Centurion: Delhi Daredevils produced a superb bowling show as they crushed Kolkata Knight Riders by 52 runs in their opening Champions League Twenty20 match.
Sent into bat, Daredevils posted a competitive 160 for eight and then restricted KKR to 108 for seven on a Centurion pitch which assisted pace bowling though it had uneven bounce at times.
Pacers Umesh Yadav (2/13), Irfan Pathan (2/20), Morne Morkel (2/25) and Ajit Agarkar (1/21) shared the seven wickets among them to inflict a crushing defeat on KKR in the Group A match.
KKR, the reigning IPL champions, made a mess of their run chase with three wickets falling in seven balls. To make matters worse for them, Jacques Kallis retired hurt without scoring in the 10th ball after being hit on his fingers by a Morne Morkel rising delivery.
Kallis' fingers were seen bleeding on the impact of the delivery and he had to leave the field in pain when his side's score was just four. Manoj Tiwary top-scored with a 38-ball 33 which included two fours and a six while Rajat Bhatia was the second highest scorer with 22.
Pathan, who opened bowling, rocked the KKR innings with his inswinging deliveries as he took two wickets in the first over itself. KKR captain Gautam Gambhir continued his poor form as he was the first one to go for a golden duck in the third ball of the innings. He holed out to Pietersen at mid-on failing to negotiate an inswinging delivery.
Three balls later, Pathan had Bisla (1) for his second wicket. Bisla missed another inswinging delivery and was plumbed in front of wicket. KKR were reeling at three for two wickets and matters became worse with Brendon McCullum departing in the first ball of Morkel with Chand holding a catch at point.
Morkel was bowling near 150km per hour at times and one such delivery rose and hit Kallis on his gloves and his fingers bled at the impact. KKR crawled to 24 for four at the end of the fifth over and then to 41 for four with just two fours in the first 10 overs. At the halfway mark, the asking rate had shot up to 12 runs per over.
Manoj Tiwary and Rajat Bhatia tried to make a match out of it but that effort ended in the 15th over after the duo shared 47 runs — highest partnership for KKR — for the fifth wicket from 9.2 overs. At the end of the 15th over, the writing was on the wall for KKR as the asking rate has shot up to around 18 runs per overs.
Earlier, young Unmukt Chand and Ross Taylor played fine cameos as Delhi Daredevils posted a competitive 160 for eight. Most of the big guns of the Daredevils could not come up with a big score with only Chand (40) and Taylor (36) contributing substantially after being sent into bat.
Except for the 64-run stand for the fourth wicket in 64 balls between Chand and Taylor, there was no substantial partnership for the Daredevils. Their score would have been much smaller had not Lakshmipathy Balaji yielded 30 runs in the 17th over.
Chand, who was timing the ball superbly throughout his innings, four fours and two sixes from the 27 balls he faced. Taylor struck one four and two sixes in his 24-ball innings. Off-spinner Sunil Narine was the pick of the KKR bowlers as he grabbed three wickets for 21. Balaji was expensive as he conceded 61 runs for two wickets while Brett Lee and Jacques Kallis chipped in with one wicket each.
Daredevils did begin well with Virender Sehwag (22) and captain Mahela Jayawardene (21) putting on 36 runs in 5.1 overs but later on lost wickets in regular intervals before regaining ground towards the close to post a decent score.
The second over bowled by Balaji yielded 11 runs with Sehwag and Jayawardene hitting a four each. Lee got the bounce but was carted for two fours by Jayawardene in his second over and KKR's third. Sehwag was lucky in the fourth over when he was on six as Manvinder Bisla failed to hold onto a sharp catch behind the wickets after the batsman edged a Balaji delivery.
The Daredevils reached 36 for no loss after the first five overs but Narine got the breakthrough with his first ball, removing Jayawardene with a fullish off-break which disturbed the timbers. Kevin Pietersen (14 off 18 balls), who came in at the fall of Jayawardene, had a lucky escape in the third ball he faced off Narine as the ball struck wicketkeeper Bisla's wrist after taking the thick edge of the batsman.
Pietersen was again dropped soon after, when on 11, as Bisla allowed to let the ball slip from his hands. The Englishman tried to scoop the ball over his head but got the a fine edge.
The pressure apparently worked as Sehwag was dismissed by Pradeep Sangwan in the ninth over with the batsman getting a nick and Bisla not making a mistake this time. Next over, Pietersen's charmed life ended as his pull shot off Lee failed to get the middle of the bat and holed out to Narine at deep midwicket. Daredevils were 64 for three at the halfway mark.
India Under 19 World Cup-winning captain Chand and Taylor steadied the innings with a 64-run stand before the New Zealander was out in the 17th over. Chand was out in the 18th over with Narine doing the damage. The youngster made a big forward movement and then went back to cut a length-ball only to miss it and see his timbers disturbed.