Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir is slowly emerging from poor form in Indian Premier League. After a hattrick of zeroes in this edition of the IPL, Gambhir is slowly steering KKR's fortunes in the Indian-leg of the tournament. On Wednesday, Gambhir struck a 56-ball 69 as KKR arrested a run of four straight defeats. For hosts Daredevils, it was their third successive loss at home. Delhi Daredevils became the first team to have lost six (out of eight contested) in IPL 2014. They are at the bottom of the standings.
Thirty-two-year-old Gambhir has been central to KKR's fortunes in IPL. The Delhi-boy chose Kotla to smash a match-winning fifty. In the process, he established a record for most fifty-plus innings (22) in IPL. Gambhir's aggregate of 2646 runs in IPL (ave.30.76) is bettered only by Suresh Raina (2979) and Rohit Sharma (2695). Gambhir also got his 11th Man of the Match award in Twenty20 - his 10th in the IPL.
Gambhir was well supported by Robin Uthappa. The former Indian keeper-batsman smashed 47 off 34 balls to help KKR overhaul Delhi's 160 with eight wickets and 10 balls to spare. Uthappa has amassed 256 runs at an average of 32.00, including two fifties, in eight innings. He is the only Kolkata batsman to score 200 runs or more in IPL 2014.
Uthappa and Gambhir put on 106 for the first wicket -- the first pair to have shared a century-stand for the opening wicket twice in IPL 2014. The pair had put on 121 versus Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad on May 5, 2014.
KKR have recorded three century stands in this year's IPL, their highest being 131 for the second wicket between Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey versus Mumbai Indians at Abu Dhabi on April 16. This was the highest partnership for any wicket in IPL 7. Of the 10 century stands in the present competition, KKR remains the only team to have registered three.