Kolkata Knight Riders breezed into the final of the Indian Premier League after scoring a thumping 18-run win over Delhi Daredevils in the first Qualifier in Pune on Tuesday.
It was an interesting clash between the two IPL heavyweights but Kolkata emerged winner as they bowled with more discipline with each and every bowler taking at least one wicket.
Kolkata Knight Riders recovered from regular blows to post a fighting 162 for four after electing to bat and then stopped Delhi to 144 for eight at Subrata Roy Sahara stadium.
It is for the first time that KKR have made it to the summit clash in five editions of the league so far.
Yusuf Pathan, who was going through a lean patch so far, struck form just at the right time for Kolkata as his uneaten 40 and a crucial 56-run stand with Laxmi Shukla (24 off 11) in just four overs helped his side cross 150-run mark.
The top three KKR batsmen -- Gautam Gambhir (32), Brendon McCullum (31) and Jacques Kallis (30) batted well but could not convert the starts into big knocks.
Delhi too paid the price of not having big partnerships as they lost wickets intermittently. Pressure gradually grew and the lower-order batsmen failed to soak in that.
Mahela Jayawardene top scored for them with his 40 and for Kolkata Jacques Kallis (2/24) and Sunil Narine (2/24) shared four wickets between them.
Delhi still have a chance to make the final as they will play in second Qualifier on May 25 against the winner of the Eliminator, which will be plyed between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
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