Daredevils 98 v KKR 99/1 (14.1/20 ov) Kolkata Knight Riders won by 9 wickets (with 35 balls remaining)
Rahul Dravid was often praised as well as criticised for being too slow with the bat during his playing days. He was good for Test matches, his detractors said, but not so much for the quickfire Twenty20 format.
The former India batsman defied them, nonetheless, to reinvent himself in T20s and even captain the now-suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals.
He eventually scored 2,174 runs in 89 IPL games at an average of 28.23 before retiring in 2013.
On Sunday night at Kolkata, Delhi Daredevils would have loved dearly to swap one of the batsmen for their mentor for the season, who was sat in the dugout, watching helplessly as the visitors struggled in the middle.
And for everything else you need to know about IPL 9: See here
Delhi's IPL woes continued seamlessly from the past year as they were bowled out in 17.4 overs for 98, a paltry total Kolkata Knight Riders chased down with nine wickets and 35 balls to spare.
Dravid’s ability to hold fort could have been handy in, atleast, batting out their overs.
Carlos Brathwaite, the hero of the World Twenty20 final for West Indies, flopped with six runs on the board while Quinton de Kock’s 17 was the highest a Delhi batsman could manage.
Delhi were always swimming against the tide from the toss, when Kolkata put them into bat first. Andre Russell sent back opener De Kock and next man Shreyas Iyer in the space of five balls in the third over of the innings at Eden Gardens, the venue of the World T20 final.
Russell had Mayank Agarwal caught by Brad Hogg for nine.
Hogg, two years senior to Dravid and still sprightly, went on to take three wickets himself.
Sanju Samson, a protege under Dravid at Rajasthan, stuck around for 15 runs, the second highest run-scorer for his team but none of his teammates could show any staying power.
John Hastings and Piyush Chawla picked up two wickets for Kolkata.
In reply, captain Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa played sensibly to rule out any hopes of a upset.
Gambhir was all praise for Russell’s professionalism as he revealed later: “Russell got to Kolkata this morning. The way he started with the ball was commendable. He is a quality player. Once we restricted them to 98, it was half the job done.”
Zaheer Khan, the veteran bowler for Delhi, tried to look at the positive side in the defeat. “You learn every day. Every team is going to have one bad game, hopefully we’ve got that out of the way,” Zaheer said.
Monday's match: Kings XI Punjab v Gujarat Lions
Kings XI Punjab will be hoping a revamp top-down will stem the rot after finishing bottom past season. David Miller takes over from George Bailey as captain while Virender Sehwag will be a mentor in the dugout rather than keeping Punjab perenially in wait hoping for a turnaround as a player. They will be banking on starting problems for Gujarat Lions to get off on a good note. Gujarat, though, are full of specialists such as captain Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch and James Faulkner.
Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport