Kolkata: Andre Russell’s 12-ball 41 headlined Kolkata Knight Riders’ clinical performance as they recorded a crushing 71-run victory over Delhi Daredevils to return to winning ways in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here tonight.
The result meant Daredevils skipper Gautam Gambhir’s ‘homecoming’ ended on a sour note.
Russell’s whirlwind 41, 36 of them coming in sixes, ensured KKR overcame a slow start to post a challenging 200 for nine after they were put in by Gambhir.
It was a much-anticipated homecoming for Gambhir, who had led KKR to twin titles in 2012 and 2014, before the association ended this year.
Spearheaded by Russell in the company of Nitish Rana (59 off 35 balls), KKR put up a batting show that Delhi did not have any chance, suffering their third defeat from four matches.
Glenn Maxwell (47 from 22 balls) and Rishabh Pant (43 from 26) kept Delhi in the hunt in a 62-run partnership from 32 balls.
But the duo of Sunil Narine (3/18) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/32) triggered a collapse as Delhi folded for 129 in 14.2 overs.
KKR removed three DD batsmen including their last match hero Jason Roy and Gambhir inside the first three overs, derailing their chase, but Pant kept them in the game.
India’s Under-19 World Cup winning pacer Shivam Mavi got his maiden IPL wicket in Gambhir (8) in his first over as the former KKR skipper played on.
From 24 for three, Pant and Maxwell led DD’s recovery act in a fifty-plus run partnership in quick time before Yadav gave the breakthrough, removing the Delhi wicketkeeper batsmen.
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