Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson top-scored with 38-ball 60 BCCI

Despite a swashbuckling start and a 72-run stand between Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer, Delhi Daredevils (DD) managed 160 for 6 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Eden Gardens. The Knight Riders bowled tremendously well in the fag end of the innings conceding only 20 runs in the last 4 overs. Nathan Coulter-Nile finished with figures of 3 for 34, while Umesh Yadav and Sunil Narine shared a wicket each in match 32 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Full Cricket Scorecard, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2017, Match 32

The Dardevils had a Rahul Dravid-like, class-apart start to their innings. They peppered fours with a touch of finesse. They eased sixes with an element of elegance. In an era of power-hitting, the opening duo of Samson and Karun Nair flipped through the textbook and executed the protocols of batsmanship with perfection. On the other hand, the Knight Riders looked uncharacteristic despite hitting the right lengths. They fielders were a mere spectators when the ball was steered past them.

Before that, their head coach Dravid himself had rung the Eden bell. All in all, some top-drawer cricket was on offer.

The Daredevils have used multiple partners for Samson this edition. Sam Billings and Aditya Tare had opened in the absence of the injured Quinton de Kock. Sometimes it did work, but Samson looked more comfortable with Nair. The duo added 48 runs in 4.5 overs. Umesh Yadav and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who have been near-perfect this summer, had a tough time containing the onslaught. That forced Gautam Gambhir to bring his go-to bowler Sunil Narine into the attack. His first five deliveries produced 7 runs 5 of them game in wides, courtesy a delivery down the leg-side. However, he provided what his captain had asked for. He trapped Nair lbw with an off-spinner of a flatter trajectory, leaving the Daredevils at 48 for 1 in 4.5 overs.

The wicket faded the momentum the Daredevils had set up. Their next boundary came after 37 balls. Samson slog-swept chinaman Kuldeep Yadav. Before that, his namesake Umesh and Chris Woakes had kept the Delhi Daredevils at bay.

Gambhir introduced sixth bowler in Colin de Grandhomme. With only 9 overs in hand, Shreyas Iyer upped the ante. He put away a slow bouncer to the leg-side. Medium-pacer De Grandhomme then bowled another off-break, but this time he bowled fuller. All that same, that did not affect Iyer. He sent it soaring over the deep mid-wicket. Live cricket scores: KKR vs DD, match 32

He continued the carnage in the next over, collecting back-to-back fours off Umesh. Two balls later, Samson joined the party and smoked one way back into the stands. Pinned firmly at the crease, with very little foot work and eyes fixed on the ball, he sent it into the orbit.

Yadav, with not alternatives left, bowled a full-length delivery that dipped in late, catching Samson in front for 68.

Narine came to bowl his second spell. Rishabh Pant welcomed him with scythe past backward-point. However, in the very next over, Coulter-Nile yorked him. The momentum shifted as the Delhi Daredevils picked up two fours in the same over, but their respite ended with Coulter-Nile restricting Iyer for 43.

In the last four over, the Daredevils failed to use the long handle to devastating effect. From 123 for 2 in 14 overs, they ended with 160 for 2.

Brief scores:

Delhi Daredevils 160 for 6 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 60, Shreyas Iyer 47; Nathan Coulter-Nile 3 for 34) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.

Full scorecard