Dubai, April 19: Kolkata Knight Riders recovered from an early slump to put up a fighting total of 166/5 in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash against the Delhi Daredevils at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here Saturday.
The 2012 edition champions had a disastrous start after electing to bat as both openers and team stalwarts Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kallis got out for a duck. It was the second successive zero for captain Gambhir who played on a Nathan Coulter-Nile delivery to backward short leg.
However, middle order batsman Manish Pandey (48) and wicketkeeper-batsman Robin Uthappa (55) took control of the Knight Riders ship and steered it through the middle overs. The duo provided stability to the innings by a 64-run third wicket partnership to take the team out of trouble.
The Daredevils bowlers, however, managed to keep a check on the economy rate and did not allow the Knight Riders batsmen to go for the shots. Trying to accelerate, Pandey perished when he was bowled by spinner Shahbaz Nadeem.
But Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (30 not out) provided good support to Uthappa, who went on to score the only half-century of the innings. The explosive batsman hit six boundaries and a six in his 41-ball knock before getting out. Their partnership of 57 runs also came at a good time for the team.
Some lusty blows towards the end by Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan (11) took the Kolkata-based team to a 150-par score. Later, Suryakumar Yadav (8 not out) hit two boundaries off the last two balls to take his team to a challenging total.