Daredevils regain top spot in IPL

JOHANNESBURG: The Delhi Daredevils bowlers paved the way for a seven-wicket Indian Premier League (IPL) thumping of strugglers Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday as they reclaimed top spot in the table.

Kolkata were restricted to 123-8 at chilly Wanderers after they lost the toss and were sent in to bat and Delhi cruised home, reaching 125-3 with 17 balls to spare. Openers David Warner, who made 36 off 23 balls, and 18-run Gautam Gambhir got Delhi off to a good start in the chase with a 53-run first-wicket partnership. While Gambhir, Warner and Tillakaratne Dilshan were removed within three overs, South African AB de Villiers and Dinesh Karthik combined to carry them home. The pair put on an unbroken 56 runs for the fourth wicket with De Villiers making 40 from 32 deliveries and Karthik contributing 17.

Earlier, Ashish Nehra had struck twice in Kolkata’s first over, and in the second Australian Dirk Nannes removed South African Morne van Wyk to leave them struggling at 9-3. Opener Sourav Ganguly and Yashpal Singh forged a 36-run partnership for the fourth wicket, but Amit Mishra sent Singh packing in the eighth over and three balls later added the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha to break Kolkata’s momentum.

Ganguly, who made 44 runs off 45 balls, stuck around to anchor the innings, but was removed by Nannes in the 17th over. Ajit Agarkar, dropped by Rajat Ghatia off his own bowling on 21, contributed 39 off 29 deliveries. He was removed with the last ball of the innings after sharing a stubborn 40-run stand with Murali Kartik. Mishra was the pick of the Delhi attack, returning 3-14 while Nannes and Nehra claimed two wickets each.