A clinical Kolkata Knight Riders handed Delhi Daredevils a nine-wicket drubbing to begin their Indian Premier League campaign in style here today. Knight Riders shot out a lacklustre Delhi for 98 before cantering home in 14.1 overs with openers skipper Gautam Gambhir (38 not out) and Robin Uthappa (35) sharing a brisk 69-run stand.
Andre Russell (3/24) and 45-year-old Brad Hogg (3/19) were the star bowlers for the home team after Gambhir put the opposition in.
While the two-time champions made an ideal start to the season, a fresh squad, mentored by Rahul Dravid, did not change the fortunes of Delhi who finished seventh out of eight teams in 2015.
Cricket returned to Eden Gardens on the same strip exactly a week after West Indies rode on Carlos Brathwaite six-hitting heroics to lift their second World Twenty20 title and the 25,000-odd Knights fans could not have a better start for Knight Riders, the two-time champions.
Gambhir and Uthappa made batting look easy during the chase as the team completed a convincing win. Gambhir was solid in his 41-ball knock, collecting five fours while Uthappa smashed seven boundaries including a couple of delightful straight drives.
Earlier, a brilliant bowling effort enabled Knight Riders to dismiss Daredevils for a paltry total.
Pacers Russell and John Hastings (2/6) triggered the collapse before the spin duo of Hogg and Piyush Chawla (2/21) came to the party.
Put in, Delhi Daredevils raced to 24 in just 13 balls with Knight Riders having some initial hiccups.
Quinton de Kock looked imperious when he unsettled Umesh Yadav’s line with successive four and a six.
The Knight Riders bounced back in the next over with Russell giving twin breakthroughs of de Kock (17 from 10
balls) and Shreyas Iyer (0) before Hasting tightened things up the other end.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Colin Munro, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, John Hastings, Brad Hogg, Umesh Yadav
Delhi Daredevils: Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Quinton De Kock, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, Carlos Brathwaite, Pawan Negi, Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile