Before the match on May 7, 2014 started many, including some Kolkata Knight Riders fans, were thinking as to whether the Kolkata franchise would touch Mumbai Indians’ ignominious record of 5 defeats on the trot. The fact that in the end they were able to win against Delhi Daredevils at their home ground Feroz Shah Kotla would have brought much relief to the Kolkata Knight Riders fans as well as the team management and also compounded the problems in hand for the Delhi Daredevils. In a way this victory would also have assuaged feelings of payback for the close defeat suffered at the hands of the same opponent in the UAE.
Team composition: Kolkata made one change from the last game where they suffered a close defeat against the Rajasthan Royals by leaving out Andre Russell and getting Jacques Kallis back in the team. Delhi also decided to give Jaydev Unadkat a break and drafted in Siddharth Kaul for this game.
Batting: The Daredevils won the toss and chose to bat first. They reached a competitive total of 160 from their 20 overs for the loss of 5 wickets. JP Duminy was the major contributor with 40 not out from 28 balls and he was admirably assisted by Dinesh Karthik who hit 36 from 22 balls. Murali Vijay (24 from 20 balls) and Kedar Jadhav (26 from 15 balls) also made important contributions to the Daredevils’ total.
Knight Riders’ chase got off to an excellent start with the second consecutive opening stand of more than 100 runs – 106 to be exact – between Robin Uthappa who scored 47 from 34 balls and Gautam Gambhir, the skipper, who scored 69 from 56 balls. Manish Pandey completed proceedings in the company of Kallis.
Bowling: For KKR, Shakib al Hasan shone the brightest with 1 for 13 in 4 overs. Umesh Yadav also bowled well for 1 for 26 in his quota. Both Sunil Narine and Kallis conceded 38 runs each in their 4 overs but picked up a wicket each as well.
Wayne Parnell was the sole beacon of light in DD’s bowling, picking up 2 for 21 in his allotment. Mohammed Shami bowled economically (23 runs in 4 overs) but was unsuccessful in picking up a scalp. All the other bowlers – Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Kaul, Duminy and Shahbaz Nadeem – were pretty expensive thus allowing the opponent batsmen to prosper.
Where do the teams go from here?
Kolkata Knight Riders will be satisfied and, more than that, relieved with this win. However, they must also realize that if they are to progress to the play-offs they need to win every single match from now on. They have a more or less settled first team and should stick to it no matter what.
Delhi Daredevils, on the other hand, are now stuck in a position from where it seems it will take them a really long time to just come out. The bowling has appeared to be listless because of inconsistency and the basic inability to check the run flow of the opponents. Perhaps the infusion of Imran Tahir in the team will act as a tonic but with him in the side perhaps Nadeem and de Kock will need to sit out. For Nadeem who has toiled so long without the proper recognition it would be a little unfair perhaps. It remains to be seen how Delhi Daredevils and Nadeem himself address this issue.