We won the toss and chose to field first against Delhi Daredevils at Eden Gardens. Nathan Coulter-Nile came into the team for Darren Bravo while Sheldon Jackson made his debut as he replaced Piyush Chawla.
Confident start from DD:
Young Sanju Samson and Karun Nair opened for the visitors and were off to a flying start. The Eden Gardens outfield was lightening quick as the ball just raced away to the boundary within seconds. Both batsmen used the pace of the quick bowlers and guided the balls in the gaps. After 4 overs, they were 41/0 with Samson scoring 26 in just 11 balls with four 4s and one 6. Gambhir introduced Narine in the 5th over and got immediate success. Nair missed the sweep and was trapped right in front of the wickets. One-down Shreyas Iyer, then came to the crease and the duo then carried on playing some sensible cricket. At the end of 10 overs, they were 78/1 with both batsmen looking settled at the crease.
Bowlers bring us back in the game:
The Eden pitch today was slightly on the slower side, maybe because it was a day game and it assisted the spin bowlers more than the pacers. Sanju Samson brought up his 50 in just 32 balls and looked in great form. Gambhir tried variations in the attack but these two made sure they don’t give their wickets away. 14th over was the turning point of the match when Iyer dispatched the first two balls of Umesh’s over for two fours. Samson then, on the fifth ball, struck a beautiful six towards the midwicket boundary but Umesh struck on the last ball as Samson’s brilliant knock of 60 came to an end. Another turning point was the third over of Coulter-Nile. The Aussie sent back Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer in the over which disrupted their flow and lowered their run-rate to an extent. Corey Anderson didn’t last long and in-form Chris Morris failed to connect his shots. In the last four overs, they managed just 20 runs and ended up on 160/6, which gave us the momentum going into the chase.
Gauthappa fire, again: Sunil Narine struck a four on the last ball of Zaheer’s first over and made his intentions clear, again. But he failed to get going, thanks to a great ball from Rabada. After that, it was a one way traffic as the experienced duo of Gambhir and Uthappa took control of the situation. At the end of Powerplay, we were 47/1 with the two batsmen slowly getting in their groove. Gambhir attacked Mishra, the lone spinner of DD, as he hit him for three 4s. Uthappa from the other end attacked Morris in the next over when he scored 16 runs in the first three balls. The tone was set and the two batsmen didn’t back down. They continued their free-flowing shots as Uthappa reached his fifty in just 24 balls. At the end of 10 overs, we were 101/1 needing 60 from 60.
All too easy in the end:
The sublime shots didn’t stop after the 10th over, as both Gambhir and Uthappa played sensible cricket. Uthappa finally departed because of a brilliant throw by Nair from point, he made 59 off 33 balls. But Gambhir didn’t let the momentum die away and reached to his 50 as well. Manish Pandey had a rare failure today as he was dismissed for 5. Debutant Sheldon Jackson came ahead of Yusuf Pathan and made sure he remained unbeaten with the captain. In the end, we chased down the total of 161 in just 16.2 overs. Gambhir won the Man of the Match award and also went on to reach many other milestones. It was indeed a #DusKiDahaad win for us!