New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) Delhi Daredevils recovered from a poor start to blast their way to an imposing 186/8 against Kolkata Knight Riders in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Saturday.
A 105-run fourth wicket partnership between Karun Nair (68) and Sam Billings (54) helped shape Delhi’s innings at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium.
West Indies’ World T20 hero Carlos Brathwaite (34) put the finishing touches to an impressive batting performance from the home team.
KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to bowl and his decision was given instant gratification by pacer Andre Russell (3/26).
The West Indian was included in the starting 11 and made prompt impact picking up two wickets in the first over.
He began with dismissing Shreyas Iyer leg before wicket for a first-ball duck. And then accounted for Delhi’s batting mainstay Quinton de Kock (1), who mistimed his attempted pull to be caught at square leg.
Delhi took some time to recover from the double strike.
Sanju Samson and Karun Nair began the consolidation. But it was jolted midway as off-spinner Sunil Narine trapped Samson (15) to peg back Delhi at 32/3 in six overs.
Nair (68) held the innings together and kept the scoreboard ticking, pulling Delhi to 70/3 in 10 overs. Middle order batsman Sam Billings (52 off 34 balls) justified his inclusion in the team as he gave company to Nair.
Their partnership not only enabled Delhi to recover but put it on a firm footing to finish strongly.
Nair brought up a deserved fifty in the 15th over, blasting Narine for three boundaries in the over. He finally departed in the 17th over after hitting nine fours and a six during his 50-ball innings.
India pacer Umesh Jadav (3/33) first claimed Nair and then Chris Morris (0) two balls later to jolt Delhi’s charge.
Billings was there though and reached his fifty with a huge six off veteran chinaman bowlers Brad Hogg in the 18th over.
Brathwaite (34 off 11) ensured a grandstand finish with a flurry of big hits, three sixes and as many boundaries.