Delhi Daredevils continue to rise

Delhi Daredevils’ investment in youngsters is paying rich dividends in this IPL season so far as they jumped to second in the points table after defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by by 27 runs at the Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi on Saturday.

Sent in to bat, the Daredevils were in deep trouble, losing both their openers in the first over itself. However, it was two 24-year-olds who turned it around with some brilliant batting. India’s Karun Nair and Englishman Sam Billings put on 105 together to take the bite out of the KKR attack, notching up 68 and 54, respectively. A late 11-ball 34 cameo from another of their investments, Carlos Brathwaite, took them to a challenging 186/6.

With the ball, it was once again Brathwaite who broke the spine of the Kolkata middle-order, taking 3/47 in his four overs to earn the man of the match award. With the new ball, it was skipper Zaheer Khan who made the early inroads, removing his dangerous and in-form counterpart Gautam Gambhir for six and then Piyush Chawla, sent in at No. 3 as a pinch-hitter, for eight to turn the clock bad to the left-arm fast bowler’s heydays.

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It was first defeat for KKR in this tournament while chasing, as except for opener Robin Uthappa (72), no other batsman showed any kind of resistance.

Earlier, both Nair and Billings impressed with their batting as they desisted from swinging the bat wildly, playing proper cricketing shots. They were comfortable against both pacers and spinners, building the innings with some smart cricket.

KKR had packed their attack with three spinners but they could not make an impression. Only Brad Hogg completed his quota of four overs and combined with Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla, the trio conceded 85 runs in nine overs.

Andre Russell was the most impressive KKR bowler with figures of 3/26, while Umesh Yadav also picked three wickets.