Thrust into leadership role in a grim situation, young Shreyas Iyer responded with a whirlwind 93-run knock as Delhi Daredevils, seeking revival in IPL, hammered Kolkata Knight Riders by 55 runs, here on Friday night.
Sent into bat, the Daredevils batsmen fired in unison to put on board a massive 219 for four with the two young batsmen from Mumbai – Iyer (93 off 40) and Prithvi Shaw (62) enthralling the fans with their elegant knocks.
Iyer and Shaw added 68 runs for the second wicket after the latter had shared a 59-run partnership for the first wicket with Kiwi batsman Colin Munro (33).
Batting like a man-possessed, Iyer hammered young pacer Shivam Mavi for four sixes and a four in the last over of the innings as Daredevils collected 76 runs from the last four.
Iyer, who replaced Gautam Gambhir as captain, sent the ball soaring over the ropes 10 times and hit the fence thrice while Shaw hit seven fours and two sixes.
KKR fielders dropped Iyer twice and paid a very heavy price for the mistake. His innings overshadowed the tremendous work done by Shaw, who joined Sanju Samson as the youngest player to hit a fifty in IPL, aged 18. Glenn Maxwell too played a crucial role in Daredevils’ splendid show with his 27-run knock as the hosts posted their best total of the season.
Gambhir, who relinquished the captaincy citing lack of form, sat out of the match.
Needing seven wins from eight matches to stay in Play-offs contention, the hosts restricted Knight Riders to 164 for nine, taking revenge for their 71-run loss at Eden Gardens.
Having conceded a total, never put against them in the history of IPL, KKR needed a fiery start but their chase was deflated when they lost four wickets in powerplay overs.
Paceman Trent Boult struck twice to send back Robin Uthappa (1) and Sunil Narine (26) after Maxwell saw the back of Chris Lynn (5).
Captain Dinesh Karthik had an enormous task at hand as his side was reeling at 51 for four after six overs but all he managed was 18 off as many balls.
KKR needed 137 from the last 10 overs and everything depended on Andre Russell (44 off 30). The burly West Indian went on a six-hitting spree, sending the ball over the fence four times.
The equation became 80 from five overs, and with Russell at the crease, it was not an impossible task. But Shubman Gill was run out after making 37 runs and sharing a 64-run stand with Russell.
Spinners Amit Mishra (2/23) and pacers Lima Plunkett and Avesh Khan dried up the runs in the middle overs to turn the tide in hosts’ favour.
Avesh (2/29) dismissed the West Indian with a yorker and it was all over for KKR.
Earlier, Munro, playing only his third game of the season, ensured that Daredevils had a fiery start. He along with young Shaw negotiated dominating KKR spinners Peeyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav with aplomb, raising fifty in just 4.4 overs.
None of the KKR bowlers, save Mavi, troubled the home openers, who had strokes for all challenges put before them.
Shaw cut pacers confidently when pitched short while left-handed Munro was happy lofting the spinners. The powerplay overs yielded 57 runs as Daredevils blunted the KKR attack.
Mavi, though, made an impression with the decent pace he generated off the Kotla track. He succeeded in breaking the opening stand by bowling Munro.
The young Mumbai lad though went from strength to strength and along with his new captain continued the good work before being bowled by Chawla.
The ball kept low and went through the gates as Shaw swung his arms for a lofted shot.
The home side needed talented Rishabh Pant to support Iyer but he was dismissed for a duck as he tried to drop his gloves when Andre Russell banged it short, expecting that the ball will pass him but it hit him on the gloves and flew to wicketkeeper.
Two quick wickets affected the run-rate as Daredevils put on board 140 for three after 15 overs.
Iyer completed his half-century with a six off Mavi as Uthappa dropped the ball near the boundary line. Iyer went for a big one again and this time Nitish Rana dropped him off Narine, giving away another six.