x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Delhi and Kolkata consolidate in IPL as Mumbai sneak in

Table-toppers Daredevils and Kolkata reaffirm table supremacy as three play-off places are decided.

Kolkata Knight Riders players celebrate a wicket.
Kolkata Knight Riders players celebrate a wicket.

DHARAMSHALA // Pace bowlers Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav shared seven wickets as Delhi Daredevils geared up for the IPL play-offs with a resounding six-wicket victory which ended the Kings XI Punjab hopes.

"It was a good end to the league stage for us," said Delhi captain Mahela Jayawardene, leading the side in place of Virender Sehwag. "We will start all over again in the play-offs but will look to take the confidence ahead."

Victory for the table-toppers also ensured the safe passage for Mumbai Indians as the third team behind Kolkata Knight Riders.

Morkel grabbed four for 20 and Yadav took three for 19 as Punjab was restricted to 141 for eight after being put in to bat on a lively track.

The task was made easy for Delhi with opener David Warner slamming a 44-ball 79, hitting a six off the first delivery he faced from Praveen Kumar. He later hit the other seamer Parvinder Awana for 23 runs in an over, including three sixes.

Warner was dropped by Gurkeerat Singh at the square-leg boundary off the last ball of that over from Awana, when on 46, and continued to unleash a barrage of boundaries.

Earlier, Morkel and Yadav ripped through the Punjab batting and the home side was reduced to 20-4 in the sixth over before fighting back. Yadav removed openers Adam Gilchrist and Mandeep Singh while also getting rid of David Hussey.

Morkel removed Paul Valthaty in his opening spell and then came back to dismiss well-set batsmen Azhar Mahmood and Gurkeerat Singh in his second spell.

The total was lent some respectability as Siddharth Chitnis chipped in with a 36-ball 38 and then all-rounder Mahmood (36) and Gurkeerat Singh (26) added 45 runs for the sixth wicket.

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders eased to a 34-run victory over Pune Warriors in their last game of the Indian Premier League regular season to seal second place in the overall standings.

Shakib Al Hasan top-scored with 42 for play-off bound Kolkata but they could only set a target of 136 from their 20 overs with opening batsman Brendan McCullum weighing in with 41.

The Warriors' run chase immediately faltered when Robin Uthappa fell for eight to spinner Iqbal Abdulla before they stuttered to 102 for eight, Jesse Ryder top-scoring with just 22.

Captain Sourav Ganguly managed only five as his side slumped to their ninth consecutive defeat with Al Hasan the pick of Kolkata's bowlers as he picked up two for 18 from his four overs.