Kolkata's bowlers respond in style as they successfully defend a total of 148 against the Delhi Devils to move up to second in the IPL standings.
Gambhir's joy at bowlers in Delhi Daredevils win
They responded in style last night as they successfully defended a total of 148 against the Delhi Daredevils to move up to second in the IPL standings.
Only Manoj Tiwary, with an unbeaten 61, had shown any form with the bat as they had toiled to what had looked an average at best total.
But led by Iqbal Abdulla (three for 25) and Lakshmipathy Balaji (two for 38), the Kolkata bowlers were able to stem the Delhi run-scoring and pull off their fourth win of the tournament.
"The guys showed a lot of desperation, we all wanted to win desperately ... I never expected so much spin on such a grassy wicket," Gambhir said in a television interview. "Everyone contributed in his own way, and if you manage to defend a score of 148 it gives the team a lot of confidence.
"Our bowlers showed what they are made of."
Delhi had put Kolkata in and that initially looked as if it had proven to be the right decision as the Knight Riders were floundering at 42 for two after losing openers Jacques Kallis (11) and Shreevats Goswami (22) cheaply.
But Tiwary played a solid knock, working the ball around the ground, in an innings that only had two boundaries and three sixes in its 47 balls.
While wickets fell regularly at the other end he kept his head to see the team to 148 for seven, and he acknowledged ensuring he was still there at the end of 20 overs had been his main goal.
"I tried to stay till the end, and the others played around me, things worked well for me today," he said.
A steady start was what basement side Delhi needed in reply, but that was exactly what they did not get as David Warner was bowled by Balaji for just two early in the reply.
Most of Delhi's hopes lay with Virender Sehwag, their captain, and he had looked in good touch with five boundaries and a six.
But, on 34, he fell as he was caught by Balaji off Jaidev Unadkat after misjudging a pull shot.
James Hopes (25), Venugopal Rao (19) and Yogesh Nagar (19) all made solid contributions for Delhi but, like Sehwag, none of them were able to go on and make a sizeable score to see Delhi get close to the total.
Any hope for Delhi was extinguished in Brett Lee's last over as the experienced Australian bowler engineered two run outs off his bowling to ensure that his side triumphed.
A disappointed Sehwag felt that his side should have been able to get themselves across the finish line.
"We had enough batsmen, but no one took the responsibility to finish the job for the team," he said.
"I said 150-160 is easily chaseable, but Kolkata bowled well."
* Compiled by The National staff with agencies