Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) players came out all guns blazing in their opening game, against Delhi Daredevils (DD), winning the game with ridiculous ease by nine wickets at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Sunday. KKR looked better in all departments of the game against DD.
The Knight Riders dismissed Delhi Daredevils for a paltry score of 98 runs, and chased down the score with 35 balls to spare.
The KKR openers -- Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa -- provided a great start to their team, and looked in complete control throughout the chase. The openers were involved in a partnership of 69 runs for first wicket, which made KKR's task much more easier.
KKR, who had won the toss earlier, decided to bowl first, which turned out to be perfect. Their bowlers took wickets at regular intervals. Delhi Daredevils might have looked decent in the first few overs, with Quinton de Kock hitting a boundary and a six as well, but their joy was short-lived as Kock was dismissed by Andre Russell in the third over, after which DD lost wickets at regular intervals.
Though they had batsmen like Sanju Samson and Karun Nair, who could build the innings, Delhi Daredevils failed to come up with any decent partnership. They were tottering at 35 runs for the loss of five wickets.
West Indies bowler, Russell was the pick of the bowlers, dismissing three top order DD batsmen. Spinners Piyush Chawla and Brad Hogg continued the good work of KKR, cleaning up Delhi batsmen, and DD were soon all out for 98 runs in 17.4 overs. Chawla and Hogg took two and three wickets respectively.
With such a paltry score, DD needed some early wickets to make a match out of it in Kolkata, but Zaheer Khan and Nathan Coulter-Nile could not provide early breakthroughs.
Kolkata Knight Riders' openers scored runs at decent pace. Both Gambhir and Uthappa hit boundaries at will. Besides the boundaries, they also ran well between the wickets.
The KKR openers were enjoying their time out in the middle. They scored 47 runs in the first six overs with ease. Skipper Khan used himself, Chris Morris and Nile during the powerplay, but it could have been better to try some spinners in the first six overs, and dismiss the KKR openers, who were running away with the game.
But, leggie Amit Mishra was brought in after the KKR openers were well set. The spinner dismissed Uthappa for 35 runs in his second over, but it was too late for Delhi as Kolkata just required 30 runs to win.
KKR, after which, did not lose any wickets, and reached the target in 14.1 overs without facing any problems. Gambhir top-scored with 38 runs.
With this all-round performance from KKR, Gambhir-led side showed that they have all their bases covered, and are a major force in IPL 2016.