By CricketCountry Staff
Pune: May 22, 2012
Yusuf Pathan and Laxmi Ratan Shukla’s unbeaten partnership of 56 took Kolkata to a competetive 162 against Delhi Daredevils in the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2012 at Pune.
Kolkata openers, Gautam Gambhir and Brendon McCullum got them off to a good start. Both were in an attacking frame of mind as they charged even while playing the fast-bowlers. Gambhir in particular was destructive and took the challenge to Delhi immediately.
Delhi got their first breakthrough in the sixth over when Gambhir was run-out against the run of play. Gambhir’s blitzkrieg 32 came off just 16 balls.
Gambhir’s wicket slowed down Kolkata as McCullum and Jacques Kallis couldn’t dominate the Delhi left-arm spinner Pawan Negi. At the half-way stage, Delhi managed to keep Kolkata to 68 after the rolicking start.
Negi kept troubling Kolkata batsmen even as they tried to up the ante. However, it was only against the fast-bowlers that McCullum and Kallis looked comfortable.
In Negi’s last over, McCullum managed to hit him for a six over mid-wicket, but lost his wicket while attempting another big hit and was caught by David Warner. At that stage Kolkata were 87 for 2 in 12.4 overs. Negi finished with fantastic figures of 4-0-18-1.
Kolkata’s man-of-the-match from their previous game, Shakib Al Hasan failed to repeat his match-winning performance as Irfan Pathan dismissed him for 1 in the 14th over.
The slow surface wasn’t the easiest to score on and Kolkata couldn’t accelerate as the slog overs approached. Kallis’s struggle ended when he was on 30 in the 16th over.
Yusuf Pathan has struggled throughout the IPL, but he looked intent on changing things for his team at the critical juncture. He hit a six off Morne Morkel in the 17th over to give Kolkata hope of a late surge.
Yusuf and Laxmi Ratan Shukla started accelerating with a floury of boundaries. Umesh Yadav bowled the 18th over and conceded 11. Morne Morkel went for 15 in the 19th over.
In the final over, Shukla welcomed Varun Aaron with a four through the covers. Agony followed for Aaron as David Warner dropped Yusuf and the ball crossed the boundary for a four. Yusuf then dispatched Aaron for two more boundaries off the final two delevires to take Kolkata to a competetive 162.
Brief Scores: KKR 162 for 4 in 20 overs (Yusuf Pathan 40 not out, Gautam Gambhir 32, Brendon McCullum 31, Pawan Negi 1 for 18, Irfan Pathan 1 for 20) vs DD