Gambhir and Uthappa star in win over Delhi


The Kolkata Knight Riders increased their lead in the 2017 Indian Premier League standings with a comfortable seven-wicket victory at Eden Gardens on Friday. The Delhi Daredevils, meanwhile, remained rooted to last position.

Captain Gautam Gambhir’s choice to bowl first after winning the toss again typified Kolkata’s supreme confidence in chasing a total, regardless of size.

The Daredevils pledged a 190-plus tally on the back of opener Sanju Sansom’s half-century and Shreyas Iyer’s complementary 47, but ultimately only managed 160 for eight in the allotted 20 overs.

Riddled with indecision and peculiar shot selection, Delhi must demand more of their middle order, in particular. South African Chris Morris and New Zealander Corey Anderson, should bat higher in the order than five and six, respectively.

Australian seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile, who was in Sunday’s big victory over the Royal Challengers Bangalore but rested against the Rising Pune Supergiant, enjoyed a successful recall – en route to fine figures of three for 34.

The Knight Riders’ successful pursuit was spearheaded by Gambhir and fellow half-centurion Robin Uthappa. The hosts skipper struck an unbeaten 71 from 52 balls to Uthappa’s 59 from 33. The pair are now this year’s edition of the 10-season tournament’s leading run-scorers, with Gujarat’s Suresh Raina and Kings XI Punjab’s Hashim Amla displaced to third and fourth, respectively.

Kolkata achieved victory with all of 22 deliveries to spare, which will boost their net run rate amid the second-placed Mumbai Indians’ bid to close the gap toward the top of the table.