Shreyas Iyer celebrated his promotion to the Delhi Daredevils captaincy with a furious innings that propelled his team to a season-high score and a 55-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League match in Delhi yesterday.
The 23-year-old's unbeaten 40-ball 93, which included three fours and 10 sixes, took Delhi to 219 for four -- the highest total in the ongoing edition of the lucrative T20 tournament. In chase, Kolkata's momentum was stunted by the regular fall of wickets and they eventually ended their 20 overs on 164 for nine.
Iyer took on the captaincy after previous skipper Gautam Gambhir stepped down and was dropped for the match. Iyer more than filled his boots as Delhi seek to climb from the bottom of the ladder, and they took the first step by winning yesterday -- their second win in seven games -- and moving up one spot to seventh.
Kolkata chose to field first at the toss, but openers Prithvi Shaw and Colin Munro were quick off the blocks with a 59-run stand in seven overs. Munro's dismissal for an 18-ball 33, bowled by a Shivam Mavi yorker, brought the new skipper in, who started slowly and let Shaw do the initial heavy lifting, which he did with a four and a six off Mitchell Johnson in the ninth over. He brought up his fifty off 38 balls but was caught behind off Andre Russell in the 14th over for a 44-ball 62.
Iyer, then on 32 off 22 balls, took charge. He scored 61 runs off his next 18 balls, reaching his 50 in fortuitous fashion off his 29th ball as a catch was parried over the long on fence by Robin Uthappa. He celebrated with another six off the next ball from Mavi and went on to hit five more as Delhi plundered 76 runs in the last four overs, including 29 from a Mavi last over that saw four maximums from Iyer's bat.
In reply, Kolkata's challenge was all but over when they were cut down to 46 for four in the sixth over. Shubman Gill hit 37 and Russell stroked 44 to reduce the margin of defeat. Trent Boult, Glenn Maxwell, Avesh Khan and Amit Mishra took two wickets each for Delhi.