JP Duminy once again stood firm for Delhi Daredevils in the tense chase of 167 © IANS (File Photo)
By Abhijit Banare
Apr 19, 2014
The seventh edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) produced it’s first nail-biting encounter as JP Duminy sealed a sensational win for Delhi Daredevils (DD) over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) with a six. Needing mere six runs in the last over, Delhi almost stuttered until Duminy hammered Piyush Chawla for a maximum. He scored 52 from 35 balls. It was the 18th over which brought Delhi back in the chase of 167 when they scored 21 which changed the momentum. If you count Delhi’s horror run in the previous season, this was their first win in seven IPL matches.
On a day where it looked more ducks would be scored than the sixes hit, Murali Vijay added to the tally after being run-out for a two-ball duck. Against a formidable bowling attack, it was always going to be a tough task for Delhi to chase anything over 140. And they will have to blame themselves for sloppy bowling to allow Kolkata to reach 166.
One of the better options Delhi had was to to score briskly early on. Despite the loss of Vijay, Mayank Agarwal went after the bowlers and kept the run-rate close 10 an over. Agarwal’s batting would have hogged more limelight had the running between the wickets between him and skipper Dinesh Karthik wouldn’t have been entertaining. The half-hearted calls and needless running kept the KKR fielders busy and enthused for an opportunity. After a cameo of 26 from 14 balls, Agarwal departed in a similar fashion as he did in the previous match against Royal Challengers Bangalore — a frontfoot pull shot going flying to midwicket.
Karthik then stitched a brief partnership with Ross Taylor before he was bowled by Kallis trying to go for an expansive shot. At 60 for three, the worry for Delhi was about a batsman anchoring the innings than the required rate. And the skipper rose to the occasion playing his trademark innings filled with well-timed strokes and shared a crucial partnership of 58 runs with JP Duminy. Karthik was already in the groove as he smashed a six and a four in consecutive deliveries off Chawla in the tenth over.
The duo kept rotating the strike and ensured that the required rate didn’t touch the tw0-figure mark. Karthik completed his fifty in the 14th over with a boundary creamed through covers. The advantage for KKR skipper Gambhir was that all this while he could afford to hold back Sunil Narine while the other bowlers kept a check. Narine came in to bowl in the 13th over and in his next over removed Karthik who attempted an enterprising reverse sweep which he failed to connect. His 56 from 42 balls included five boundaries and two sixes. At that moment, Delhi required 49 from 33 balls and in walked Manoj Tiwary. He started of with a defensive push and the ball found his edge to run for a boundary.
Delhi had the chase in control but a rush of blood to go for the big hits saw Tiwary throwing his bat around and gifted his wicket away. The dot balls that followed further increased the pressure. With 32 needed in the last three, Duminy produced some brilliant shots to make it the game-changing moment of the match. He smashed 21 in the over from countryman Morne Morkel to reduce the target to 11 in the last two. There was some drama remaining as James Neesham struggled to hit Narine. The pressure finally got to him as he holed out to deep midwicket in the last over bowled by Piyush Chawla.
With six needed in four balls, Duminy co9uldn’t have afforded to rotate the strike. But the leggie bowled a loose delivery outside legstump and Duminy swung his bat wildly to send it over the deep fine-leg fence for a maximum.
Earlier, Kolkata who opted to bat, started off on a disastrous note losing the openers for ducks. But Manish Pandey, with his 48 and an aggressive 55 from Robin Uthappa gelped the team reach to a formidable total. They were boosted by some big hits from Shakib Al Hasan. The Delhi bowlers were erratic and conceded easy runs in the end.
Kolkata Knight Riders 166 for 5 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 48, Robin Uthappa 55; Jaydev Unadkat 1 for 25) lost to Delhi Daredevils 167 for 6 in 19.3 overs (Dinesh Karthik 56, JP Duminy 52; Sunil Narine 1 for 18) by 4 wickets.
Man of the Match: JP Duminy
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(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)