JP Duminy played a thrilling innings to take Delhi Daredevils to a four-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Saturday.
(Scorecard | Blog)
Chasing a challenging target of 167, the South African played a swashbuckling knock of 52 not out to take the Daredevils home with a six - with three balls to spare.
Daredevils opener Murali Vijay did not give the team the start they required, getting out for a duck on his second delivery. However, Mayank Agarwal (26 off 14) looked impressive but got caught in a soft dismissal at square leg. New Zealand's Ross Taylor (6) also got out soon after but captain Dinesh Karthik kept the flow of runs going for his team.
Karthik, who got out for zero in his last match, looked in sublime touch as he scored a fluent 56 off 40 deliveries, including five fours and two sixes. He also got good support from Duminy, who had also struck an important half-century in their opening match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday.
Just when it was looking that the Daredevils would romp home thanks to Karthik, mystery spinner Sunil Narine turned the tables by getting the captain out leg before wicket.
Duminy now decided to take the role of the anchor as planned as he smashed three sixes and boundaries each. Manoj Tiwary (8) and James Neehsam (8) did not get many runs but stuck in there to aid Duminy, who appeared a man on a mission.
Morne Morkel's 18th over proved to be the difference when Duminy smashed 21 runs off the over, including two sixes and a boundary to bring down the asking rate to 11 off 12.
Delhi suffered a hiccup or two but reached home with another Duminy six to bag the team's first win of the tournament.
Earlier, the Knight Riders recovered from an early slump to put up a fighting total of 166/5.
The 2012 edition champions had a disastrous start after electing to bat as both openers Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kallis got out for a duck. It was the second successive zero for captain Gambhir, who played on a Nathan Coulter-Nile delivery to backward short leg.
However, Manish Pandey (48) and Robin Uthappa (55) took control of the ship and steered it through the middle overs. The duo provided stability to the innings with a 64-run third-wicket partnership to take the team out of trouble.
The Daredevils bowlers, however, managed to keep a check on the economy rate and did not allow the Knight Riders batsmen to go for the shots. Trying to accelerate, Pandey perished when he was bowled by spinner Shahbaz Nadeem.
But Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (30 not out) provided good support to Uthappa, who went on to score a half-century. The explosive batsman hit six boundaries and a six in his 41-ball knock before getting out. Their partnership of 57 runs also came at a good time for the team.
Some lusty blows towards the end by Al Hasan took the Kolkata-based team to a 150-par score. Later, Suryakumar Yadav (8 not out) hit two boundaries off the last two balls to take his team to a fighting total.
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 166/5 in 20 overs (Robin Uthappa 55, Manish Pandey 48, Shakib Al Hasab 30 not out; Nathan Coulter-Nile 2/27, Jaydev Unadkat 1/25, Shahbaz Nadeem 1/29) lost to Delhi Daredevils 167/6 in 19.3 overs (Dinesh Karthik 56, JP Duminy 52 not out, Mayank Agarwal 26; Morne Morkel 2/41, Jacques Kallis 1/15, Sunil Narine 1/18).