The Delhi Daredevils might have cracked the code of picking up wins again in IPL cricket this season, but their awful run in front of their own fans at the Feroz Shah Kotla continued unabated with the Kolkata Knight Riders the latest team to hand them a loss.
With two wins from their last two, DD came into this IPL 2015 match in good mood, but their old failures with the bat came back to haunt them again, as Yuvraj Singh and co. managed to put up a mere 146/8 in their 20 overs.
The kind of batting lineup that KKR possess, the target of 147 was never going to be a problem and so it proved to be with Gautam Gambhir (60, 49b, 8x4) anchoring the innings to perfection to guide his side to a comfortable six-wicket victory with 11 balls to spare.
Early wickets were always going to be key for the Daredevils, if they are going to make a game of it, and they got them as well with Domnic Joseph picking up both Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey in the same over, the fifth of the innings.
However, having given themselves a chance with those two wickets, the Delhi Daredevils just failed to put the squeeze on and force mistakes from the KKR batsmen, with Gambhir milking those singles with consummate ease, while pouncing on a boundary every now and then, and Suryakumar Yadav his usual looking-to-hit-a-boundary-every-delivery self.
A partnership of 48 runs in 5.2 overs between the two pretty much ended all hopes of a Delhi Daredevils home win, with Gambhir staying almost until the end, in the company of Yusuf Pathan (40 n.o., 26b, 6x4, 1x6), to ensure the match would be won easily.
Earlier, the Delhi Daredevils failed to build any kind of solid partnership, and paid for that with a below par total.
Mayank Agarwal, after his match-winning innings against KXIP, has failed to fire and so it was again, with the opener dismissed in the second over by the excellent Morne Morkel (4-0-30-2). Sunil Narine, who was tonked for a few in his final couple of overs, would pick up the vital wicket of captain JP Duminy, and from there it was a case of what might have been as one batsman after the other failed to capitalise on a decent start.
The dismissal of Yuvraj pretty much summed up the innings, with the left-hander having a complete brain you-know-what, inexplicably stepping out of his crease and allowing Uthappa the simple task of knocking down the stumps. The KKR wicketkeeper managed to do just that only at the second attempt, with Yuvraj still very much succeeding in staying out of his crease.
Angelo Mathews hit a couple of sixes, both off Narine, towards the end, but by then it was quite clear the Daredevils would never get to a score good enough to even threaten KKR, who handed DD their ninth consecutive loss at home.