KKR smashes Kings XI Punjab

The batsmen put up a total well above par in their IPL 2017 match on Saturday - the first game of the season at the Feroz Shah Kotla - and the bowlers had the simple task of restricting a Kings XI Punjab team already disappointed at giving away too many runs.

KKR's batting, despite the absence of Lynn, has come out good. They began with an emphatic victory over Gujarat Lions, lost to Mumbai Indians, before conjuring back-to-back wins at home against Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Dhawan also seemed to found some touch this season. They never had the upper hand.

"In the Caribbean Premier League, the wickets are very similar to that of India". With regular opener, Chris Lynn, out due to injury, Kolkata promoted Narine up the order. Apart from the young lad, Sam Billings and centurion Sanju Samson will be the others to watch out for in the Delhi batting line-up. The KKR bowling bandwagon has been firing in unison and that they have defended scores of 170-odd in consecutive games is a testimony to the fact. "He is going to repay that faith".

The last time Hyderabad and Punjab met, Hashim Amla blasted 96 to take Punjab to 179. Gambhir & Co. would be eager to not repeat that mistake again, more so with the top slot on the line.

Daredevils' batting might not match the strength and experience of the bowling department but it has delivered.

KKR will have the moral boost as they are above DD in the table while playing at home conditions gives DD the edge for the fixture on Monday. Interestingly though, Delhi's only home win in five seasons came in just the a year ago.

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The only area of concern for the Daredevils is the form of Karun Nair. The Karnataka batsman could however be given a longer rope to prove his credentials.

Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir on Thursday effusively praised Sunil Narine, saying it was time he trusted the Caribbean as a willower who was also the leader of the attack with the leather. That said, he is an unlikely starter against Delhi.

New Zealand allrounder Colin de Grandhomme continues to take his chances, making a useful IPL debut for Kolkata. "We did out best and had faith in our bowlers".

Uthappa played a few nice shots on his way to a 39-ball 68 (5x4, 4x6) and was assisted ably by Manish, who scored 46 (35b, 3x4, 2x6) to ensure that the host reached 172 in the allotted 20 overs.

"We did end up with less than what we would have liked..." If we don't back players in this tournament, they trend to breed insecurity and we will back Sunil all the way.

For KXIP, four of the five pacers used had a forgettable night. Four overs each from the duo changed the script of the match as asking rate went through the sky.

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