New Delhi: It was a dream return for former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir when Delhi Daredevils took on KKR at the Eden Gardens on Monday. But it was not to be as Kolkata steamrolled Delhi in front of a packed Eden crowd. But Gambhir said that the team tried its best to get over the line against KKR.
“We have to give it to KKR, they played really well. One stage we thought they couldn’t get 170-175 but then getting to 200 was a good effort by them. We knew it was going to be a stiff chase as they have three quality spinners. I thought we tried our level best but we couldn’t execute the plans well. Someone like Russell when he starts to take on the bowlers it’s difficult to contain him. We even tried bowling from round the wicket. We had different plans but it was difficult to execute the plans. Lot of balls we bowled into his radar. It’s important for us to win the games at home, there are about 5 of them we’re playing at home. The next game is important for us if we can take a win. If we get a win in Bangalore the confidence will be better. We still have 10 games left and a lot of hard work to do,” Gambhir said.
Andre Russell and Nitish Rana starred with the bat before Kolkata’s spin pair of Kuldeep Yadav-Sunil Narine strangulated the Delhi batsmen as Kolkata Knight Riders registered a comprehensive 71-run victory over the Delhi Daredevils and spoiled Gautam Gambhir’s return to the Eden Gardens. Chasing 201 to win, Delhi were never really in the game as they lost wickets early in the innings.
Jason Roy was stumped for 1, with Piyush Chawla striking in the first over. Shreyas Iyer (4) and Gambhir (8) didn’t last long either. Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell then got together to put up a 62-run partnership for the fourth wicket to give some hope to the Delhi fans but once Pant was dismissed by Kuldeep for 43, Delhi fell like nine pins.
Maxwell too was accounted for by the same bowler, both being dismissed on short balls. Narine and Kuldeep then just ran through the Delhi batting with none of the other batsmen scoring in double figures.
In the beginning, Kolkata openers Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine looked a bit rusty. Both the batsmen couldn’t time the ball well and were even struggling to find the middle of the bat. Trent Boult also bowled the first maiden over of this year’s IPL.