Kolkata: It was another wonderful day of thrilling cricket as the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Delhi Daredevils by four wickets and Sunrisers Hyderabad edged past the Kings XI Punjab by just a slender margin of five runs.
In the first match held at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, Daredevils skipper Zaheer Khan won the toss and opted to bat first. His openers- Sam Billings and Sanju Samson put on a solid 53-run stand in 6.1 overs before wickets tumbled one after the other.
Karun Nair and Shreyas Iyer chipped in with useful contributions before a whirlwind 38 from 16 balls from Rishabh Pant and some clean hitting by Chris Morris ended the Delhi innings at 168/7. Nathan Coulter-Nile, making his debut for Kolkata Knight Riders was the wrecker-in-chief of his former team’s batting, as he grabbed three wickets giving away 22 runs in his four overs.
In reply, KKR did not get to the best of starts as skipper Gautam Gambhir’s new opening partner Colin De Grandhomme was dismissed in the first over by veteran Zaheer Khan. Robin Uthappa soon made his way back to the pavilion soon and Gambhir was the next to follow. But Manish Pandey (69*) and Yusuf Pathan (59) had other plans in mind as they stitched a 110 run partnership to take KKR close to the target.
And Pathan’s dismissal followed by the wickets of Suryakumar Yadav and Chris Woakes’ brought back Delhi into the game. Middle order batter Manish Pandey once again calmed the nerves in the KKR camp as he hit a wonderful six in the last over as Kolkata Knight Riders won the match by four wickets.
The other match between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad was no less a thriller as the defending champions eked out a win by just five runs. Glenn Maxwell, the Punjab skipper won the toss and put Hyderabad to bat.
Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed quite early as skipper David Warner and Moises Henriques looked to revive the innings, before the all-rounder was dismissed in the tenth over of the innings. Yuvraj Singh, too was caught behind in the very next ball as Punjab looked to be right on top. But Warner held his calm and he along with Naman Ojha helped Sunrisers post 159 runs on the board.
And they couldn’t have asked for a better start as Bhuvneshwar Kumar trapped Hashim Amla lbw in the very first over of the match. The middle order comprising of Maxwell, Eoin Morgan and David Miller failed to get going as opener Manan Vohra looked to fight a lone battle. The lower order too did not fare well as Punjab fell agonizingly short of the Hyderabad target by 5 runs.
Vohra played a fantastic innings of 95 but it ended up being in a losing cause. Bhuvneshwar Kumar continued his good run with the ball as he registered his first and the tournament’s second five wicket haul. He is now the Purple Cap holder for 15 wickets so far he has got. Skipper Warner also is the Orange Cap holder with 235 runs to his name.
With Kolkata’s win, Gambhir’s men again moved to the top spot as Delhi are on the fourth position in the table. Sunrisers, with this victory are now at the third position while Punjab are on the fifth.
Delhi Daredevils 168/7 (Sanju Samson 39, Rishabh Pant 38 ; Nathan Coulter-Nile 3/22) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 169/6 in 19.5 overs (Manish Pandey 69*, Yusuf Pathan 59; Zaheer Khan 2/28) by four wickets.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 159/6 (David Warner 70* Naman Ojha 34 ; Mohit Sharma 2/25) beat Kings XI Punjab 154 all out in 19.4 overs (Manan Vohra 95, Eoin Morgan 13; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 5/19) by five runs.