Sam fits the bill as Daredevils beat KKR


Sam Billings made a half-century on his Indian Premier League debut, while there were telling contributions from Carlos Brathwaite and Karun Nair in Delhi Daredevils' 27-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders.

Billings had to be patient before being given his IPL bow, but it proved to be worth the wait as the England batsman smashed 54 from only 34 balls at Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday.

Nair (68 off 50) and Billings put on 105 for the third wicket and West Indies' Twenty20 hero Brathwaite (34 from 11) produced some late fireworks as the Daredevils posted a challenging target of 186-8 after Andre Russell (3-26) had struck twice in the first over.

Robin Uthappa (72 off 52) lacked support, with Zaheer Khan (3-21) the pick of the bowlers and all-rounder Brathwaite taking 3-47 as the Daredevils bowled KKR out for 159 to join them in second place on eight points with a game in hand.

Windies all-rounder Russell gave the Knight Raiders a dream start, dismissing Shreyas Iyer and Quinton de Kock in the first over of the match.

The hosts were 32-3 after five overs when Sunil Narine (1-22) trapped Sanju Samson in front, but Nair and Billings performed a rescue act with some classy strokes and lusty blows.

Nair struck nine fours and a six, while Billings looked very much at home as he brought up his half-century by launching one of his two sixes into the crowd before Brathwaite weighed in with some brutal blows in a sparkling cameo.

Evergreen seamer Zaheer dismissed Gautam Gambhir and Piyush Chawla cheaply and the expensive Brathwaite claimed three wickets, with only Uthappa able to build on a start as Delhi ran out comfortable winners.