IPL 2017 | Uthappa, Gambhir make it three in a row for KKR

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IPL 2017 | Uthappa, Gambhir make it three in a row for KKR

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SportsCafe Desk


Robin Uthappa (59) and Gautam Gambhir (71*) carried on from where they left off against Pune as they guided Kolkata Knight Riders to a 7 wicket win against Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens. Earlier the KKR bowlers had restricted DD to just 160 by giving away just 20 runs in the last four overs.

Brief Scores: Delhi Daredevils 160/6 (Sanju Samson 60, Shreyas Iyer 47; Nathan Coulter-Nile 3/34, Sunil Narine 1/25) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 161/3 (Gautam Gambhir 71*, Robin Uthappa 59; Kagiso Rabada 2/20) by 7 wickets.

On a hot afternoon in Kolkata, the hosts’ skipper Gautam Gambhir won the toss and allowed the  Delhi team first use of the strip. But that didn’t matter for Zaheer, who would have chosen to bat first, as he revealed during the toss. KKR made two changes to their winning combination, bringing in Nathan Coulter-Nile and Sheldon Jackson in place of Darren Bravo and Piyush Chawla. The Daredevils made one change, dropping Aditya Tare for Maharashtra batsman Ankit Bawne.

Samson shines to give Delhi Daredevils a brisk start

Delhi made a brisk start in tricky conditions as Sanju Samson and Karun Nair set the pace early with a flurry of boundaries in the powerplay overs. Having raced to 48 off 29 balls, Nair failed to pick Sunil Narine’s flighted delivery and was trapped LBW for 15. Nair’s dismissal stemmed the visitors’ run flow, with Shreyas Iyer appearing lead-footed, but Samson steadily dealt in 1st and 2s to complete his second fifty-plus score this season. With Nathan Coulter-Nile and Umesh Yadav operating with a lot of energy, the batting duo failed to garner many runs and could only take the team to 78/1 at the midway point.

Coulter-Nile shines yet again

Samson looked fluid in his innings, hitting 4 fours and 3 sixes before his innings was cut short by Yadav, having scored 60 off 38 balls. Coming back to the team after a healthy break, Coulter-Nile then picked up Rishabh Pant and Iyer in quick succession to bring his team steaming back into the contest. Delhi, at this stage, at 146/4 after 17 overs, and with two new batsmen Ankit Bawne and Chris Morris at the crease, simply ran out of steam, and they could only muster 14 runs in the last 3 overs to end at 160, 15-20 runs of a competitive total.

Lucky Uthappa puts KKR in control

For once Sunil Narine struggled to make an impact as he was beaten for pace by a Rabada delivery and KKR found themselves at 30/1 after four overs. Rabada was proving to be a menace with Uthappa struggling to play against his pace and he ended up skying one in the air while attempting a pull shot. But for the second game running, Uthappa was given a lifeline when Samson and Mishra made a mess of the catch and like the last match, he made the visitors pay. The KKR wicketkeeper smashed Morris for 16 runs off the first three balls of his over to take the home side’s run rate to 10 an over. By the midway point, KKR needed to score at just a run a ball to secure their third successive victory.

Gambhir sees KKR through to victory

KKR kept the momentum going with Uthappa smashing Mishra for a huge six over long off to bring up a second consecutive 100-run stand with Gambhir. Even though the partnership was broken by some brilliant work by Karun Nair, whose direct hit sent Uthappa back to the pavilion, the hard work had already been done. With a trademark cut shot off Anderson, Gambhir not only brought up his fifty, but 6000 T20 runs as well. It was just a matter of time before KKR would round up the victory but their captain saw it as an opportunity to improve their net run rate. He did just that as the home side secured the win with 22 balls to play.

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