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Disciplined Kolkata Knight Riders restrict Delhi Capitals to 127/9 on 'slow track'

Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan (24, 20 balls) hit five boundaries in quick time as he converted a lot of balls into half volleys before Venkatesh pouched him.

Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers made optimum use of the slow Sharjah track to restrict Delhi Capitals to 127/9 in their Indian Premier League game here on Tuesday.

The bowlers justified skipper Eoin Morgan’s decision to put Delhi into bat on the Sharjah track, where the ball was stopping and coming onto the bat.

For Delhi Capitals, only Steve Smith (39; 34 balls) and skipper Rishabh Pant (39; 36 balls) could cross the 30-run mark as run-scoring looked a difficult task. Not a single six was hit during the entire innings.

Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan (24, 20 balls) hit five boundaries in quick time as he converted a lot of balls into half volleys before Venkatesh pouched him at point of Lockie Ferguson.

After the Powerplay, DC were 39/1 but it soon became 40/2, as Sunil Narine (2/18) castled Shreyas Iyer (1) in the seventh over.

Then Pant joined Smith and both found scoring difficult as there was no pace off the track and the balls were not really coming onto the bat. Varun Chakravarthy (0/24 in 4 overs) as usual was steady while Narine (2/18) also payed his part.

Smith tried changing gears and hammered successive fours in the 10th over off Chakravarthy, as Delhi got 12 off that over.

The Australian then slog swept Narine and was looking in his element when Ferguson pegged back Delhi by castling Smith as they slipped to 77/3.

Kolkata then grabbed three quick wickets, as Shimron Hetmyer (4), Lalit Yadav (0), who was trapped in front by Narine, and Axar Patel (0) too perished cheaply as Delhi was teetering at 92/6.

With Pant failing to up the ante, Venkatesh (2/29) bowled really well in the back-10 mixing it up nicely at a speed f ear;y 130 kmph which is certain to keep Hardik Pandya on tenterhooks if not in coming days then definitely in coming months.

For the record, Pant became the leading run-scorer for Delhi Capitals surpassing Virender Sehwag.

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