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Cricket
May 8 2012 11:20AM
 
Knight Riders riding high
JACQUES OF ALL TRADES: Kallis rejoices after getting the wicket of Delhi’s David Warner on Monday. Picture: Gallo Images
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Indranil Basu
NEW DELHI

Team Delhi are no doubt missing England’s Kevin Pietersen. Though the aggressive intent of the team is still there, without Pietersen’s consistency the spark seems to be missing, as was evident in the team’s defeat to Kolkata here at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Monday.

The six-wicket win — the sixth consecutive one for Gautam Gambhir’s team — made Kolkata the new table toppers in the competition, dethroning Delhi from the pedestal.

Delhi disappointed in front of a packed home ground. They managed 153/8 in their 20 stipulated overs but the total seemed inadequate and in reply, Kolkata reached the winning score with eight balls to spare.

This was only the third loss for Delhi in 11 games. Pietersen’s replacement David Warner did give a good start to their innings, but somewhere down the line Delhi failed to get going. Against a bowling attack which had the likes of Sunil Narine, Brett Lee and Jacques Kallis, Delhi’s big guns failed to come to the party. The total was boosted only by Irfan Pathan’s late charge.

Kolkata’s batsmen, on the other hand, were much more disciplined. Opener Brendon McCullum (56 off 44 balls) top scored, sharing a crucial opening stand of 68 with skipper Gautam Gambhir (36 off 21 balls) and another partnership of 60 runs with Jacques Kallis (30) which sealed the match in Kolkata’s favour.

Delhi pacers Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav impressed but eventually failed to swing the match in the team’s favour. Yadav was on a hattrick after he dismissed both McCullum and Kallis one after the other. These two wickets also raised a little bit of hope for Delhi, but it was all a bit too late. Earlier, at the start of the Delhi innings, Kolkata’s Brett Lee did bowl a maiden over but Delhi raced to 40 in less than four overs.

Skipper Sehwag raced to 23 runs off 9 balls but couldn’t go on to make a sixth consecutive half century. Kallis was the pick of the Kolkata bowlers, being ably supported by Narine. – TOI

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