Shoaib Akhtar chucks the Daredevils away
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 14th May 2008
Nobody would have given the Kolkata Knight Riders too much of a chance during the mid-inning break after they had capitulated to a measly 133/6 in the stipulated 20 overs. However, Shoaib Akhtar – making his debut in this match – wrecked the top order of the Delhi Daredevils team with a four wicket haul off his three overs, and there was no looking back after that.
Earlier, Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss, and as has been their wont, elected to bat first on a flat looking track. Under-19 cricketer, Iqbal Abdullah replaced Murli Kartik, where as Manoj Tiwari came in for Dinesh Karthik.
Akash Chopra and Salman Butt did give them a solid start, but the run rate was a bit of a problem. Ganguly came in after the fall of Chopra’s wicket – gone for 13 – and hit a six off Yo Mahesh, but perished soon after. David Hussey and Butt were involved in a 40 run stand, but the fall of Butt’s wicket, not only caused the run rate to dip towards the earth, but also got another couple of wickets for the Daredevils.
Butt top scored with 48, but the Knight Riders barely stuttered to a 130 plus total, and it would have been very natural for their shoulders to droop. But then, that whirlwind called Akhtar stuck four times in a row, and had the Delhi team reeling at 28/4. Dinda then joined in the party, castling the consistent Shikhar Dhawan; Delhi 43/5.
Tilakratne Dilshan did hit a couple of lusty blows, and after his wicket, so did Amit Misra and Ferveez Maharoof, but in the end, some abysmal running between the wickets, and amazing fielding and direct hitting saw the Delhi lose their seventh wicket at 101. In terms of the run rate they still had a chance, but then Ganguly stunned everyone by bringing Laxmi Ratan Shukla – a former Indian cricketer – to bowl the 18th over, and his first over. Shukla repaid his captain’s faith by picking three wickets in five balls and snatching a full deserved victory for his team, by a margin of 23 runs.
Shoaib Akhtar was named the Man-of-the-Match for his Herculean effort of four wickets in the three overs he bowled.