Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 Apr 2018 10:27:34




FAST-TRACKED into captaincy, young Shreyas Iyer led from the front with a scintillating 40-ball 93 as Delhi Daredevils resurrected their journey in IPL with a thumping 55-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday night.Chasing a huge 220 from 20 overs, Kolkata Knight Riders were never in the game with Delhi bowlers choking them with some tight bowling.The former champions managed 164 from 20 overs losing nine wickets.This was Delhi’s second win from seven matches after a series of losses which came under Gautam Gambhir’s captaincy.

Opener Sunil Naraine (29 from 9 balls) slogged Kolkata bowlers but fell early. Shubham Gill (37) and Andre Russell (44) used their long handles in the later part of their chase but it was not enough. Handed the reins of the team in a crunch time, 23-year-old Iyer, who replaced Gautam Gambhir as captain, sent the ball soaring over the ropes 10 times and hit the fence thrice in his whirlwind innings after Prithvi Shaw (62) became the youngest batsman to score a fifty in IPL.They added 68 runs for the second wicket after Shaw shared a 59-run partnership for the first wicket with Kiwi batsman Colin Munro (33).

Placed at the bottom of the table, Delhi responded to the grim situation in the best possible manner as the hosts batsmen fired in unison to post their best total of the season. Iyer, dropped twice during his knock, creamed off four sixes and a four in the last over bowled by Shivam Mavi to finish the innings in style, amassing 29 runs from the last over. Glenn Maxwell too played a crucial role in Daredevils’ splendid show with his 27-run knock. Gambhir, who relinquished the captaincy citing lack of form, sat out of the match.

Munro, playing only his third game of the season, ensured that Daredevils had a fiery start. The Kiwi batsman along with young Shaw negotiated, hitherto, dominating KKR spinners Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav with aplomb, raising fifty in just 4.4 overs. None of the KKR bowlers, save young paceman Mavi, troubled the home openers, who had strokes for all challenges put before them.Shaw cut pacers confidently when pitched short while left-handed Munro was happy lofting the spinners. The powerplay overs yielded 57 runs as Daredevils blunted the KKR attack. Mavi, though, made an impression with the decent pace he generated off the Kotla track. He succeeded in breaking the opening stand by cleaning up Munro.

The young Mumbai lad though went from strength to strength and along with his new captain Iyer continued the good work before being bowled by Chawla.The ball kept low and went through the gates as Shaw swung his arms for a lofted shot.The home side needed talented Rishabh Pant to support Iyer but the young left-hander was dismissed on duck as he tried to drop his gloves off when Andre Russell banged it short, expecting that the ball will pass him but it hit him on the gloves and flew to wicketkeeper.Two quick wickets affected the run-rate as Daredevils put on board 140 for three after 15 overs. Iyer completed his half-century with a six off Mavi after Robin Uthappa dropped the ball near boundary line. Iyer went for a big one again and this time Nitish Rana dropped him off Sunil Narine, giving away another six. The hosts collected 79 runs from the last five overs to end the innings with a flourish.