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Kolkata Knight Riders opening game of Season 5 at the Eden Gardens proved to be a damp squib. First,the jam-packed stands had to suffer a frustrating wait of over an hour,as the game was delayed by rains; then they had to see their team go down tamely to Delhi Daredevils in a truncated tie.
Chasing a modest target of 98 in 12 overs,the Daredevils were home with five balls to spare. The star for the Virender Sehwag-led team was all-rounder Irfan Pathan,who scored an unbeaten 42 from 20 balls to help his team win by eight wickets.
Earlier,it was a bowlers show as Delhi Daredevils restricted Kolkata to 97/9. Kolkata batsmen struggled to get off the blocks against an attack led by South African speedster Morne Morkel,who returned figures of 3/18.
Umesh Yadav picked up two wickets for nine runs off his two overs while left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe also took two wickets. Laxmi Ratan Shukla top-scored for the home team with a 17-ball 26,studded with two sixes and a lone boundary. His innings helped resurrect Kolkata after they were reduced to 54/5 in 6.4 overs. With the top Kolkata batsmen Gautam Gambhir (16),Jacques Kallis (4) and Yusuf Pathan (0) failing,youngster Debabrata Das impressed with a quickfire 18 from nine balls that included a huge six off Morkel.
Van der Merwe gave Delhi the first breakthrough in his very first over when he cut short Brendon McCullums trapping him in front of the wicket.
Brief scores: KKR 97/9 (LR Shukla 26,D Das 18,G Gambhir 16; Morkel 3/18,Yadav 2/9,Van der Merwe 2/28); DD 100/2 in 11.2 overs (Irfan Pathan 42 n.o.,Aaron Finch 30; Rajat Bhatia 1/7)