Batsman and Robin in Gautam’s City - The New Indian Express

Batsman and Robin in Gautam’s City

Published: 08th May 2014 06:11 PM

Last Updated: 08th May 2014 06:13 PM

When Pravin Tambe picks up more wickets in two balls than all your bowlers combined in 20 overs, you know something is wrong. When that happens twice in a row, it’s time to hit the panic button!

If the Delhi Daredevils think-tank needed any more indication that something was seriously wrong with their bowling attack, they had it on Monday as Kolkata Knight Riders chased down 160 losing just two wickets at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

As was the case in their match against Chennai, Delhi never looked like winning at any stage despite having a decent total to defend as Robin Uthappa and Delhi boy Gautam Gambhir put their bowlers to sword from the onset.

The duo put on their second consecutive hundred-plus opening stand, swatting boundaries at will, before Uthappa fell, leg before to Wayne Parnell. Skipper Kevin Pietersen threw everything at them but some unimaginative bowling and a tragicomic fielding display rendered whatever plans he had inconsequential.

Gambhir soldiered on in the company of Manish Pandey, taking Kolkata to the brink of victory before falling to Parnell. His 69 contained five boundaries and two sixes and was his second half-century in as many matches.

A few balls later, a beaming Gambhir was back on the field as Jacques Kallis celebrated after hitting the winning runs.

Earlier, JP Duminy and Kedhar Jadhav once again put on a late show as Delhi posted a competitive 160 for five. Pietersen won the toss and decided to bat, despite his bowlers being unable to defend competitive totals in their last two matches. Delhi lost Quinton De Kock early after the young South African tried to hit Umesh Yadav out of the park, only to find Gambhir at mid-on.

The wicket brought Pietersen to the crease and Gambhir immediately swi­tched to spin, first bringing on Shakib Al Hasan and then tossing the ball to Sunil Narine. The ploy worked as the former England skipper lo­oked as comfortable as a p­e­nguin stranded in a dese­rt.

Literally, every ball that Pietersen faced resulted in an attempt to escape the strike and it was one such attempt that sent him back to the stands. He came forward, knocked the ball to cover and took off for an imaginary run.

But partner Murali Vijay stood rooted to his crease and Pietersen was already on his way to the stands when wicketkeeper Uthappa whipped off the bails.

The responsibility of shoring up the innings fell yet again on the shoulders of Dinesh Karthik and the Che­n­nai man delivered for the second match in a row. Ka­r­t­hik’s 36 came off just 22 bal­ls and contained four boundaries and a maximum. But he was back in the stands before he could finish the job, top-edging a Shakib delivery to Kallis at short fine-leg.

Laxmi Ratan Shukla soon fell to Narine and it brought together the familiar pair of Duminy and Jadhav. For the third time in a row, the duo’s explosive sixth-wicket partnership lent a modicum of respectability to the Delhi Daredevils innings, as they put on an unbeaten 55 in just 25 balls. Jadhav in particular was impressive, smashing Vinay Kumar all over the park, before dispatching Narine for two consecutive fours.

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