New Delhi: Shreyas Iyer enjoyed a positive start to his stint as captain, leading from the front to help Delhi Daredevils post the season’s highest total of 219/4 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Ferozshah Kotla here on Friday.
Playing his first match after replacing the off-colour Gautam Gambhir as captain, Iyer struck four sixes and a boundary to milk 29 runs from the final over, remaining unbeaten on 93 off just 40 balls.
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His power-packed innings, which was laced with three fours and 10 sixes, propelled the hosts to the mammoth score after being put in to bat.
While Iyer stole the limelight with his belligerence in the later part of the innings, it was teenaged sensation Prithvi Shaw and Colin Munro who got Delhi off to a breezy start with a 59-run opening stand.
Shaw scored 62 off 44 balls with the help of seven boundaries and a couple of sixes while Munro hit four boundaries and two sixes to plunder 33 off 18 deliveries to help Delhi put the agony of Wednesday’s captaincy mess behind them.
Delhi’s original skipper Gautam Gambhir had on Wednesday stepped down after taking full responsibility for the side’s dismal start to the season, during which they lost five of their six opening games to languish at the bottom of the table.
While Gambhir was dropped from the playing XI on Friday, his replacement — 23-year-old Iyer — continued his glorious run with the willow.
But it was the teenaged sensation Shaw, who provided the much-needed impetus to Delhi’s massive total, belting a 38-ball half century to become the joint youngest to score an IPL half century with Sanju Samson.
The 18-year-old was beaming with confidence as he mercilessly pummelled the visiting bowlers and did not spare even veteran Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson, clobbering him for a massive six over mid-wicket.
After getting to his half century, Shaw took the famed KKR spinners to the cleaners before leg-spinner Piyush Chawla got the better of him to end the 68-run second wicket stand with Iyer.
Iyer continued his dominance over the bowlers, racing to his half century off 29 balls, even as new man Rishabh Pant (0) failed to trouble the scorers.
Pant’s dismissal brought in Australian power-hitter Glenn Maxwell (27 off 18; 4×1, 6×2) , who forged a 73-run fourth wicket stand with Iyer as Delhi looked set for a huge total.
Back on the ground after a six-day break, none of the KKR bowlers looked threatening even as Andre Russell, Shivam Mavi and Piyush Chawla managed to bag one wicket apiece.
Brief scores: Delhi Daredevils 219/4 (Shreyas Iyer 93 not out, Prithvi Shaw 62, Colin Munro 33; Andre Russell 1/28) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.