Shoaib Akhtar made a sensational Indian Premier League debut by polishing off the Delhi Daredevils top-order in a hurricane opening spell to propel Kolkata Knight Riders to a 23-run victory here on Tuesday.
Battered by the Rawalpindi Express, who picked up four wickets in his first three overs, the visitors were skittled out for 110 of 17.5 overs, in reply to the Kolkata Knight Riders’ modest total of 133 for 6 at the Eden Gardens. Akhtar claimed wickets in each of his first three overs, with his victims including the dreaded Delhi opening combination of skipper Virender Sehwag (0) and Gautam Gambhir (10).
Akhtar, playing at his favourite ground where he made his debut in 1999 during the Asian Test championship, finished with brilliant figures of 3-0-11-4 to walk away with the Man of the Match award. Later, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, brought on to bowl the 18th over, finished off the Delhi innings by taking the last three wickets to finish with an analysis of 0.5-0-6-3.