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An understrength Delhi Daredevils side registered a surprising 8 wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in game 2 of the new season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), thanks to some brilliant new ball bowling by Morne Morkel 3/18 and an excellent innings at No.3 from Irfan Pathan (42*) that saw the team through. KKR, after being put in to bat, kept losing wickets in a weather curtailed game of 12 overs a side and only managed 97/9 in their innings, a total that proved to be below par on the day. Delhi, in response were solid at the start with a 49 run opening stand and despite having a few wobbles in the middle phase, managed to get over the line comfortably in the end with some well timed power hitting from the Man of the Match, Irfan Pathan.
After a 2Â½ hour rain delay, the second match of IPL Season 5 between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Delhi Daredevils finally got under way in Kolkata and the visiting captain Virender Sehwag won the toss and chose to field in a curtailed 12 overs contest. There was a significant South African flavour to this game with 2 Proteas players in each squad with Jacques Kallis and Marchant de Lange featuring in the Kolkata line-up, while Delhi fielded Roelof van der Merwe and Morne Morkel. Brendon McCullum and Brett Lee made the Kolkata line-up look the stronger of the two on paper with Indian internationals Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan and Manoj Tiwary adding more firepower to the team. Delhi were missing some senior pros who were on international duty, giving a rare opportunity to Aaron Finch and 23-year old Aussie rookie Glenn Maxwell to impress. Indian medium pacers Irfan Pathan and Umesh Yadav bolstered the bowling unit.
The Knight Riders opened with the overseas pair of Jacques Kallis and Bendon McCullum, and despite managing 9 runs off the first over from Irfan Pathan, kept losing wickets regularly thereafter. McCullum was the first to go lbw to Roelof van der Merwe for 9, while his Proteas team mate Morne Morkel wreaked havoc from the other end dismissing both Kallis (4) and Tiwary (0) off consecutive yorkers. Umesh Yadav too found instant success as he soon sent back Yusuf Pathan too for a duck, caught behind, playing awkwardly to a back of a length delivery.
Gautam Gambhir then looked good for a brief period making 16 before he too was castled by Morkel in his last over. Despite being 55/6 at one stage, quick fire cameos from Debabrata Das (18 off 9) and Laxmi Shukla (25 off 17) ensured that KKR reached a reasonable 97/9 in their 12 overs. Morkel ended with 3 wickets, while Van der Merwe and Yadav had 2 each, the latter going for just 9 runs in his 2 overs. The Daredevils were brilliant in the field and affected some brilliant saves and run outs to keep the score below 100, and gave even their depleted line up a good chance off knocking these runs off.
In pursuit of 98 for victory in 12 overs, the Daredevils started well. The opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Aaron Finch set the platform early on by adding 49 runs for the first wicket. Surprisingly though, it was Finch who did the bulk of the scoring with Sehwag forced to play second fiddle without getting much strike.
Finch scored fluently before he was bowled by Kallis for 30 in the 7th over. Sehwag took things on from there briefly and looked like finishing the game as he got to 20 off just 13 balls. He was tempted into an over ambitious stroke soon by his former Delhi mate Rajat Bhatia and holed out to long on with the game still in the balance.
With 10 runs an over needed from the last 4 overs, Irfan Pathan, who was promoted to No.3 on the night played an excellent innings to see it through for his team. He timed the ball beautifully right from the start before launching himself into rookie Marchant De Lange's last over and smacking him for 3 huge sixes. That blitz all but sealed it for Delhi as they now needed a run a ball in the last two overs. Irfan then finished it off with ease with 5 balls to spare and made a stroke filled 42 off 20 balls to be Delhi's player of the day.
The Delhi Daredevils got off to a fantastic start in this season's IPL despite missing several key players and this will give them immense confidence going into the rest of the tournament. They have a tough road trip to Bangalore to look ahead to this Saturday, and will be delighted to have got off the blocks quickly. KKR on the other hand seemed rather unsettled and will need to get their act together pretty quickly to keep up with the pace of the tournament and contest for the title. They are also on the road, heading off to Rajasthan to take on the Royals on Sunday.
KKR: G Gambhir, J Kallis, B McCullum, M Tiwary, Y Pathan, D Das, L Shukla, R Bhatia, B Lee, I Abdullah, M De Lange
DD: A Finch, V Sehwag, N Ojha, Y Venugopalrao, G Maxwell, I Pathan, R Van Der Merwe, Y Nagar, U Yadav, S Nadeem, M Morkel
KKR 97/9 (12 overs)
L Shukla 25(17) M Morkel 3/18
D Das 18(9) U Yadav 2/9
DD 100/2 (11.1 overs)
I Pathan 42*(20) J Kallis 1/23
A Finch 30(27) R Bhatia 1/7
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- 06/04/2012 19:24 - IPL Match 4: Rahane, Cooper take Rajasthan to 31-run win
- 06/04/2012 15:43 - IPL Match 3: Pune stun Tendulkar-less Mumbai to register unexpected win