Gambhir half century takes Delhi to the top

DURBAN: A half-century from stand-in skipper Gautam Gambhir led Delhi Daredevils to the top of the Indian Premier League table with a nine-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday.

Gambhir's measured innings of 71 not out eased Delhi to their target of 155 with one over to spare, although he did enjoy some luck after being dropped by Kolkata captain Brendon McCullum on 21 and was given not out after being caught behind just short of his half-century.

David Warner's quickfire innings of 36 from 23 deliveries got the Daredevils off to a flying start and eased the pressure on his team-mates, allowing Gambhir and Tillakaratne Dilshan (42 not out) to ride home.

Gambhir has struggled for IPL form, but was pleased to finally register a good innings.

"I am not spotting the ball well, but was happy I batted through," he said. "We discussed that someone had to finish the job, and with two batsmen set we managed to do that."

It was Kolkata's seventh loss from nine matches, and they rued some poor fielding with a number of dropped catches and unnecessary boundaries after their batsmen set a reasonable total.

McCullum finally found form to record a speedy 35, but it was fellow opener Morne van Wyk who really sparkled with 74 from just 48 balls.

The South African hit 11 fours, but was at times starved of the strike by a struggling middle order as the innings tailed away and ended with a total that was a shade under par.

"I thought probably another 20 on top would have been good, but the way they chased them down was thoroughly professional," conceded McCullum.

Defeat leaves Kolkata rooted to the bottom of the table with just three points.