Kolkata Knight Riders returned to winning ways defeating Delhi Daredevils by 71 runs in the Vivo-IPL at the Eden Gardens here on Monday.
Knight Riders scored 200 for nine after being asked to bat and dismissed Daredevils for 129 in 14.2 overs.
With the cushion of a big score, Knight Riders reduced the visitors to 24 for three by the third over. The bravado of Rishab Pant and Glenn Maxwell, who paired in a 62-run partnership for the fourth wicket, raised hopes of a fight back, but Daredevils could not sustain the tempo for long.
Pant, who was the more expressive of the two in the 33-ball stand, scored 43 off 26 balls with seven fours and a six.
Kuldeep Yadav brought Knight Riders back on track, picking up Pant in the ninth over inducing him to go for a big shot that ended up in the hands of Piyush Chawla at deep midwicket.
Kuldeep also accounted for the other big hitter, Glenn Maxwell, just when he appeared to be running away with the match hitting four sixes and three boundaries in his 22-ball 47.
While Kuldeep picked up the big-hitters, off-spinner Sunil Narine inflicted late damage bamboozling the lower order and becoming the first overseas spinner to pick up 100 IPL wickets.
Earlier, Trent Boult produced the start Daredevils were looking for. The New Zealand left-armer mixed pace with movement in good measure to keep Knight Riders opener Chris Lyn rooted and began with a maiden.
The Boult effect continued to dog the hosts for some more time as Lynn consumed eight balls before getting off the mark — a six over midwicket off Chris Morris. Boult continued to trouble the hosts as he picked up the wicket of pinch-hitter Sunil Narine in his second over.
Once Robin Uthappa joined Lynn in the middle, Knight Riders found the momentum. The pair shook off the shackles in the fifth over, going after Boult — collecting 13 runs in the Kiwi pacer’s third over.
Uthappa was most severe on left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, hitting him for two huge sixes and a four.
Having amassed 50 runs at the end of the PowerPlay, Knight Riders had recovered well as Uthappa did the hitting and secured the platform for a big score.
With Lynn playing anchor, Uthappa heaved three big sixes and a couple of boundaries to reach 35 off 19 balls in a 55-run partnership for the second wicket.
Nadeem dismissed Uthappa in the eighth over, but Knight Riders looked in no mood to be bogged down as Nitish Rana continued with the big shots to keep the runs flowing.
The best came when he was joined by Andre Russell after the departure of Lynn (31) and captain Dinesh Karthik (19).
The two paired in a 61-run partnership, coming off just 22 balls, for the fifth wicket where Russell produced six sixes to score 41 off just 11 balls.
Mohammad Shami received most of the punishment as Russell collected all his sixes off the left-arm pacer, who conceded 42 runs in his final two overs.
Rana top scored with a responsible 59 (35b, 5x4, 4x6). Knight Riders could have posted a bigger score, but struggled in the final over of leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia, where it lost three wickets for three runs.