Breaking News : Kolkata Knight Riders won by 18 runs

Pune: It took the team five years but on Tuesday, Kolkata Knight Riders' late hitting and very sensible bowling helped them earn a shot at the Indian Premier League title. Delhi Daredevils at the other end, beaten by 18 runs and left to play another match for the same chance.
Delhi's start was marred at the beginning. Needing 163 for a win, openers David Warner and Virender Sehwag did managed to find the boundary rope but were dislodged by Shakib al Hasan and L Balaji removed them in successive overs.
What followed was an exact opposite of what most would have expected. Naman Ojha, partnered by Mahela Jayawardena, took the attack right back to Kolkata and made the fielders run for cover. The two added 59 for the third wicket but once Ojha was sent back by Rajat Bhatia in the 11th over, the match was resurrected once again.
Jayawardena was stumped in the 15th over by Brendon McCullum off Iqbal Abdullah's bowling while Sunil Naraine managed to be characteristically miser at the other end.
The rest of the batting was ordinary though there were a few exceptional strikes. In the context of the game though, they were not enough as Delhi will now face the winner of Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians clash in Bangalore.
Delhi's bowlers earlier on, had maintained a tight line against Kolkata but threw it away in the final few overs to find themselves staring at a rather challenging total.

Yusuf Pathan and Laxmi Ratan Shukla had a 56-run stand for the fifth wicket which propelled their side despite a forceful start which had been blunted by Delhi bowlers.

Gautam Gambhir gave his side an explosive start, finding a six or a boundary at least, in each over. By the end of the first five overs, Kolkata had raced to 36 withought trying to be extremely brash.

The strike was being rotated by Gambhir and McCullum with ease as well but in the sixth over, it became a little too casual. The stumps were shattered at the bowlers' end with Gambhir short by a hairline, his innings of 32 off 16 being cut in the middle.

Thugh the rate of scoring remained the same in the next ten overs, Kolkata batsmen looked a lot more tentative than in the initial stage of the innings.

McCullum managed to finally find a six in the 13th over but was sent back two balls later when he sliced Pawan Negi to point for a waiting David Warner to oblige with a catch. Shakib al Hasan replaced McCullum and lasted all of 3 deliveries in which he managed a run.

Yusuf and Shukla managed some lusty blows towards the end of the innings as Kolkata fans found lots to cheer for going into the break. Of course by the end of it all, the smiles would have only gotten much wider.


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