Though Kolkata Knight Riders playing at home had an edge over Delhi Daredevils who were missing on their foreign recruits in their opening game in IPL, a consorted team effort helped the vistors post a convincing win against the Riders. Irfan Pathan sparkled with the bat while Mornie Morkel did most of the damage for Daredevils with the ball. Let us have a look at the hits and flops of the match which Virender Sehwag and his brigade won without letting out much sweat:
Hits and flops for Kolkata Knight Riders
Laxmi Ratan Shukla: Kolkata Knight Riders were in dire straits after their top batting order collapsed like nine pins, but thanks to the heroics of Laxmi Ratan Shukla, the hosts were able to post a respectable 97 runs off 12 overs, which if not a winning score proved to be competitive until Irfan Pathan played that blitzkrieg for the Daredevils. Carrying on the good form from the domestic circuit, Shukla scored a quick-fire 26 off of 17 balls, including a couple of sixes and a four until he was caught by Nagar off Umesh Yadav. Had he remained till the end, the result of the match could have been different.
Rajat Bhatia: Rajat Bhatia though could not do much with the bat (7 off 9 balls) coming at number 9 for the KKR, but he bowled a tight first over that he was given by skipper Gautam Gambhir, giving just three runs and in the process also scalped the prized wicket of Virender Sehwag that gave KKR hopes to fathom their chances in the match.
Top batting order of KKR: Kolkata Knight Riders lost six wickets in six overs and that in itself tells the sorry state of its batting performance on its home ground after Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag, who won the toss, decided to field in a rain-truncated 12-over match at the Eden Gardens. After KKR lost Brendon McCulum (9) in the second over, Jacques Kallis (4), skipper Gautam Gambhir (16), Manoj Tiwary (0), Yusuf Pathan (0) and Debrata Das (18) followed him to the pavilion in successive overs and that never let the Riders unleash their batting prowess against the Daredevils.
Marchant de Lange: The South African import was sent on a leather hunt by the Delhi Daredevils batsmen as he was hit for 36 runs off three overs and that proved costly for the Riders.
Hits and flops for Delhi Daredevils:
Irfan Pathan: After the bowlers had done their job by restricting Kolkata Knight Riders for 97, Irfan Pathan came up with a swashbuckling innings of 42 off 30 balls and helped Delhi Daredevils post an emphatic eight wicket win over the hosts. His three sixes in the innings were a marvel to watch.
Mornie Morkel: Though Irfan Pathan got the man-of-the-match award, it was Morkel who set the ground for Daredevils. He bowled menacingly and not only took three top KKR wickets, including Jacques Kallis (4), skipper Gautam Gambhir (16) and Manoj Tiwary (0), but also bowled miserly, giving away just 18 runs in three overs.
Flops: Not really. The bowlers did a decent job by restricting KKR for 97 and their batsmen showed form from the very beginning.