The clash between the two most impressive teams in the tournament proved to be a one-sided affair as Kolkata Knight Riders cruised to a six-wicket victory at a packed Feroz Shah Kotla, displacing Delhi Daredevils from the top spot they had held virtually from the start of the tournament. Delhi Daredevils made only 153 for nine. Kolkata Knight Riders met the target with eight deliveries to spare, winning by six wickets and move to number one in the points table.
Opting to bat first, Daredevils started off well with Sehwag blasting 23 off only nine deliveries but failed to convert his good start. The likes of David Warner (21), Mahela Jayawardene (30) got out just when they looked set while Ross Taylor (16)’s woeful run with the willow affected Daredevils’ chance of putting up a good score. It was only due to Irfan Pathan’s (36, 22 balls, 4×4, 1×6) lusty blows that helped Kolkata to cross the 150-mark.
Delhi disappointed in front of a packed home ground. They managed 153/9 in their 20 stipulated overs. This was only the third loss for Delhi in 11 games. Pietersen’s replacement David Warner did give a good start to their innings, but somewhere down the line Delhi failed to get going. Against a bowling attack which had the likes of Sunil Narine, Brett Lee and Jacques Kallis, Delhi’s big guns failed to come to the party.
Chasing a modest target of 154, KKR Opener Brendon McCullum (56 off 44 balls) top scored, sharing a crucial opening stand of 68 with skipper Gautam Gambhir (36 off 21 balls) and another partnership of 60 runs with Jacques Kallis (30) which sealed the match in Kolkata’s favour.
For Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag, the Ferozeshah Kotla wicket was not up to the mark. He wanted more grass on the wicket as he, for the first time in this Indian Premier League (IPL) season, was ready to unleash his all-pace attack – Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron – against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday. Delhi pacers Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav impressed but eventually failed to swing the match in the team’s favour. Yadav was on a hat-trick after he dismissed both McCullum and Kallis one after the other. These two wickets also raised a little bit of hope for Delhi, but it was all a bit too late.
The six wicket win – the sixth consecutive one for Gautam Gambhir’s team – made Kolkata the new table toppers in the competition, dethroning Delhi from the pedestal.