New captain Iyer’s 93* off 40 blows KKR away

Delhi Daredevils 219 for 4 (Iyer 93, Shaw 62, Munro 33) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 164 for 9 (Russell 44, Gill 37) by 55 runs

Thrusting a young player to a leadership position often goes one of two ways. Burdened by captaincy, a player’s performance in their main role – batting, bowling or keeping – can temporarily worsen, similar to Aiden Markram in South Africa’s ODI series against India earlier this year. Or the confidence of that position can buoy, and therefore improve, a player’s role, like Shreyas Iyer in Delhi on Friday. He smashed an unbeaten, 40-ball 93 to lead Delhi Daredevils to a resounding 55-run victory against Kolkata Knight Riders.

After a strong start, Iyer backed his hitting ability at No. 3. Primarily with a full face of the bat, he first accumulated before gradually increasing his tempo to the point where he took 28 runs off the final over, bowled by Shivam Mavi. He hit 10 sixes, four in the final over, powering Daredevils to 219, the highest score of the season. Such was Iyer’s proficiency with using the straight bat that he scored 77 – 83% of his runs – in front of square.

Daredevils’ only worry in their defence was a 64-run partnership between Andre Russell and Shubman Gill. Russell had smashed 44 runs off 30 balls, 35 of which was scored in the arc between long-off and midwicket, but it was his form and ability that forced Iyer to use his best bowlers earlier. Eventually, Daredevils had sufficient confidence and runs to play with, easing to just their second win of the season.

Shaw and Munro

With Gautam Gambhir dropped, Daredevils’ openers – Shaw and Colin Munro could adopt their own template. Before Friday, they had played just three games between them this season, which meant they carried less baggage than the rest of a floundering batting line-up.

The Powerplay produced 57 runs, Daredevils’ average before this game was 48. The Powerplay also included 10 boundaries, Daredevils’ average was 6.66. Not only did Daredevils score considerably more runs, they also made a confident start to set the rest of their innings up. In the first seven overs, they made 59 runs. Munro scored 33 off 18, while Shaw struck 62 off 44 balls. Together, they faced a little over half the innings and scored 95 runs.

and then, Shaw and Iyer

In Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell, Daredevils arguably had more valuable scoring resources. Iyer backed his own hitting ability and walked in after Munro was bowled. With Iyer utilizing a few deliveries to get set, Shaw increased his strike rate. It included a flurry of elegant boundaries off Mitchell Johnson: a wristy whip over midwicket, a lofted chip over extra cover and a slapped six over square leg.

Shaw was eventually dismissed, bowled hoicking across the line similar to the previous game, for 62. In the next seven overs, the pair added 68 runs. Iyer, then, took over.


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