Shoaib Akhtar and Eden Gardens are inseparable. Akhtar took four top order wickets of Delhi Daredevils in a sensational spell of 3 overs. This is the best bowling performance in an IPL T20 Cricket match. Kolkata Knight Riders won the match by 23 runs. Famed Delhi top order failed miserably against quality bowling of Shoaib Akhtar. Shoaib exposed weaknesses of Indian batsmen in facing quality fast bowling. Bowlers completely dominated the match from both sides. What a fielding from Kolkata Knight Riders!
Kolkata IPL: Passionate captain, passionate owner and passionate crowds. Do you want more?
Shoaib Akhtar bowled out Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar in 1999 in an Asian Test championship match to silence Eden Gardens crowds. Now he took 4 Delhi top order wickets in just 3 overs to send them into raptures. Of those 4 wickets, Sehwag and Gambhir are tournament leading scorers. Shoaib Akhtar bowled this sensational spell in a match in which Pakistan bowlers Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul failed to find place in their teams. Cricket needs this man.
Toss: Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat first as expected on this shining pitch.
IPL T20 cricket Score:
Kolkata Knight Riders: 133/6 in 20 overs.
Delhi Daredevils: 110 all out in 17.5 overs.
Match Result: Kolkata Knight Riders won by 23 runs.
Man of the match: Shoaib Akhtar. It is very difficult to describe his performance in words. When he is on song, watching his bowling is a treat to watch. We want more.
1. Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akthar made IPL debut. His fastest ball clocked at 151 kmph.
Highlights of the match:
1. Gautam Gambhir dropped Aakash Chopra in McGrath’s over. I can’t understand why Kolkata is picking this stubborn cricketer for T20 matches. Poor selection. Why can’t they send Saha as opener? No team is employing tactical innovations in IPL.
2. Glenn McGrath is once again at his economical best. He is producing test matches economies in IPL cricket especially in the first spell. Real legend.
3. Captain Sourav Ganguly fell cheaply to Yo Mahesh after hitting a superb sixer.
4. Salman Butt scored crucial 48 runs at his favourite Eden Gardens ground.
5. Gambhir made amends by taking wonderful catch of Shukla.
6. David Hussey scored 31 runs but all Kolkata batsmen failed to raise run rate against strong Delhi bowling attack. Delhi leg spinner Amit Mishra played vital role in the middle overs.
Delhi IPL innings:
1. Shoaib Akthar decimated Delhi. Do you know that this man played in this game without match practice for 2 months? He silenced critics like me who underestimated his influence. Thank you man.
Verdict: Despite this win, I am still worried about Kolkata. Except David Hussey, none of the batsman is scoring runs consistently. Body language of Virender Sehwag is not sending good signals. He seems to be taking things lightly. Mumbai Indians may beat both teams for semi-final berth.