Two teams who have never featured in an IPL played each other at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune and in the end it was Kolkata Knight Riders who emerged victorious and will fight for the prestigious title. The match between Delhi Daredevils and KKR was one of the most anticipate match as two of the dearest friends, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag were fighting for a place in finals. In the end, the better team and the better captain on the day won.
KKR won the toss and batted first on a slow Pune pitch, Delhi were playing four seamers and the decision cost them the match. KKR batsmen thrived on the extra pace provided by Delhi quickies and posted a total of 162.
Delhi with their strong batting line up would have fancied their chances but some poor changes in the batting order and some good bowling from KKR saw Delhi fell short by 18 runs.
Let’s have a look at some of the hits and flops from both innings.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Gautam Gambhir: It was important for KKR to get a quick start as it is considered to be difficult to score runs in Pune when the ball gets old, Gambhir would have known that and started the onslaught very early in his innings. His 32 runs come of a strike rate of 200.
Yusuf Pathan: Pathan had a torrid time in the tournament but he turned up the heat at the most crucial stage. After a slow innings from Kallis and McCullum, KKR needed a strong finish and Pathan provided exactly that. He scored 40 runs off 321 balls and his innings included three fours and two sixes.
Sunil Narine: Narine has been one of the best performers with the ball and he once again pulled out a superb performance for his team. Gambhir bowls Narine at the most crucial stages and the talented West Indian delivers every time. The tournament is coming to its end and still there is nobody who can pick his deliveries.
Partnership between Kallis and McCullum: Gambhir gave a brisk start to KKR and the job for these two very experienced batsmen would have been to carry on the same momentum, but they failed to do so. Both the players struggled to rotate the strike and played far too defensively. They consumed 41 deliveries for their partnership of 39 runs and put a lot of pressure on the lower middle-order.
Irfan Pathan and Pawan Negi: Delhi was going in with three fast bowlers on a slow Pune pitch and that proved to be fatal. Pathan was very effective with his cutters and change of pace and conceded only 20 runs in his four overs, left-arm spinner gave only 18 runs in four overs.
Mahela Jayawardene: Delhi lost their openers early in the innings and it was left to the Sri Lankan captain to steady the innings and he did exactly that. Jayawardene played with extreme finesse and took Delhi closer to the target. Delhi was in with a shot till the time he was on the crease.
Morne, Umesh, Varun: These three pacemen have been very good for Sehwag, but they failed together and made things difficult for Delhi. Together they gave away 122 runs in the 12 overs that they bowled. These wicket-takers could only manage to pick only one wicket.
Decision of Taylor batting at number 7: It is a match that could have taken Delhi starigh into the fibnals and they should have played it without fear, but some of the decisions that the team management took looked defensive. Ross Taylor is one of the best strikers in the world and he showed his hitting ability against RCB not too long ago. It’s a mystery why Delhi batted him at number seven and send players like Rao and Negi ahead of him. Taylor came in to bat when the required run was touching 20 runs per over.
By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News