Kolkata Knight Riders slumped to their fifth straight defeat of the season as Delhi Capitals clinched a rather bizarre Indian Premier League match by four wickets and six balls to spare at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday.

It was a strange match, not particularly high in quality from both sides, but the problems mounted for Shreyas Iyer’s KKR who are struggling in all departments. Kuldeep Yadav was by some distance the best Delhi bowler on the night but ended up bowling only three overs for 4/14. Rishabh Pant’s stunning low catch to dismiss Shreyas Iyer, followed by the stumping of Andre Russell had reduced KKR to 83/6. But they somehow managed to sneak to a decent total of 146/9.

With the exception of skipper Shreyas Iyer (42), the KKR top-order struggled to get going against the Capitals’ bowlers at the Wankhede Stadium. Batting at number six, Nitish Rana top-scored with 57 off 34 balls and hit three fours and four sixes, even as the others failed to leave KKR reeling at 35/4 at one stage. Kuldeep was the most impressive bowler with figures of 4/14 from three overs, while Mustafizur Rahman took three wickets in a brilliant final over.

DC chased down the target with six balls to spare but that was not before some stumbles. Opener David Warner blasted 42 off 26 balls for DC. Rovman Powell finished things off with an useful cameo when DC were in a bit of strife after a few wickets fell.

Team Pld Won Lost Net RR Pts
GT 8 7 1 0.371 14
RR 8 6 2 0.561 12
SRH 8 5 3 0.600 10
LSG 8 5 3 0.334 10
RCB 9 5 4 -0.572 10
DC 8 4 4 0.695 8
PBKS 8 4 4 -0.419 8
KKR 9 3 6 -0.006 6
CSK 8 2 6 -0.538 4
MI 8 0 8 -1.000 0

Shreyas rued the batting performance, saying at the end of the match, “...we didn’t get a good score on the board. No real excuses, we have to go back and assess where things are going wrong. A lot of chopping and changing is happening at the top of the order, it’s been difficult to set up the right combination, and the injuries are not helping us as well. We need to stick together, play some fearless cricket.”

For Rishabh Pant, it was a case of making sure the team bounced back from their previous defeat. “We are not thinking about the points table and plan to take one game at a time. We have to be more clear with our plans and that is something we can improve,” the keeper-captain added.

Kuldeep Yadav was declared player of the match once again, making it a habit of it this season.

“I might have become a better bowler, but I am mentally stronger than before. When you fail in life you pick what you can improve on and that is something I had to improve on. I don’t get scared of failing now,” Kuldeep said, adding later that he would be delighted if Yuzvendra Chahal actually won the purple cap with both spinners having a good season for their respective sides.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders: 146/9 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 42, Nitish Rana 57; Kuldeep Yadav 4/14, Mustafizur Rahman 3/18).

Delhi Capitals: 150/6 in 19 overs (David Warner 42; Umesh Yadav 3/24).