New Delhi: Jacques Kallis contributed with both bat and ball as Kolkata Knight Riders displaced Delhi Daredevils at the top of the IPL table with a six-wicket win at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Monday. With their eighth win in 12 matches, the Kolkatans take the top spot, while Delhi go down to second with their third defeat in 11 matches.
Chasing 154 to win, Kolkata stitched a solid opening partnership with Gautam Gambhir and Brendon McCullum taking the Delhi bowlers to the cleaners. Both added 68 before Varun Aaron, playing his first match this season, removed the Kolkata captain who chopped the ball on to his stumps. Kallis joined McCullum and both played with a lot of care to make sure the visitors got closer to the target. Umesh Yadav turned the match on its head when he sent back Kallis (30) and McCullum (56) in two successive balls with 128 on the board in the 16th over. But it all was a fleeting moment of joy for Delhi as Yusuf Pathan (7 not out), Debabrata Das (1 not out) and Manoj Tiwary (8) saw the visitors home with eight balls to go.
Earlier electing to bat first, Delhi openers Virender Sehwag and David Warner, who took Kevin Pietersen’s place, were off the blocks straight away. Sehwag led the charge after Warner played a maiden from Brett Lee. The Delhi captain took 17 off Pradeep Sangwan’s over to set things in order. Warner, after the ignominy against Lee, got his own back on the fellow Aussie before long. He scored 17 off the fast bowler’s second over - the innings’ third - to further boost the hosts. It indeed was a dream start.
But then South Africa allrounder Kallis took the ball in the fourth over and accounted for Sehwag with 40 runs on the board. The ball nipped back to trap the Delhi captain in front of the wickets. He made 23 off nine balls on his way to the ownership of the Orange Cup with 468 runs, going past Rajasthan Royals’ Ajinkya Rahane. Kallis struck again in his next over as Warner (23) edged a rising ball through to wicketkeeper McCullum.
Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor played with a lot of caution and added 46 of 42 balls before the Sri Lanka captain’s grubby innings of 30 came to an end with a run-out. He was lucky on two occasions: first the umpire didn’t declare him out after McCullum took a simple catch off the bowling of Kallis; the second time the Kiwi failed to pouch a relatively difficult chance, again off Kallis. Taylor failed to provide the impetus Delhi needed and he also departed soon for 16. Thanks to Irfan Pathan, who in a rearguard action, hit 36 off 22 balls with the help of four fours and one six that Delhi managed to post a fighting 153/9. Kallis and Sunil Narine returned with two wickets each. The innings’ last over bowled by Narine saw four wickets fall, two of them being run-outs.