IPL 2017: Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets (D/L) to enter Qualifier 2


NEW DELHI, May 18: Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in a rain-affected IPL Eliminator by seven wickets via Duckworth Lewis System to enter the Qualifier 2 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday. The match that began at 8:00 pm (IST) on Wednesday finished close to 1:30 am (IST) Thursday thanks to a lengthy rain delay that kept both the teams waiting for close to 2.5 hours after SRH were restricted to 128/7.

When the match finally resumed at 12:55 am (IST), as per the D/L method, KKR were left to chase a revised target of 48 in six overs which they achieved at the cost of three wickets in 5.2 overs.

Here we break down the match in five

A tough start

After calling correctly at the coin toss, KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, with his pace-heavy attack, opted to bowl first. The track, which otherwise welcomes batsmen with open arms, shut itself down tonight. KKR bowlers were the beneficiary. The batsmen itched for boundaries but they came at a premium. Pace duo of Umesh Yadav and Trent Boult began the proceedings and SRH opener David Warner managed to hit them for a four each. Runs though, in general, weren't flowing easy. With the fielding restrictions on, Shikhar Dhawan decided to take risk and attempted to put a length delivery from Umesh over the infield. He mistimed it and only managed a top-edge that was well taken by wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa. Next came Kane Williamson but the mood remained grim. The defending champions crawled to 30/1 after the end of Powerplay.


Warner, Williamson rebuild but KKR land double-blow


The slower pitch made it a tough task for the batsmen to score freely. And so, the duo of Warner and Williamson had to pounce on any opportunity that would be presented. Williamson tried manufacturing shots and succeeded, like when he made room against a flat delivery from Yusuf Pathan and lifted it over covers for his first four. And then the bowlers too erred in lengths, like Piyush Chawla who dropped a half-tracker and allowed Warner to unleash a powerful pull shot that went over midwicket for a six. Williamson joined the party with four and six off successive deliveries from Nathan Coulter-Nile in the next over. Despite those efforts, SRH had managed just 61/1 at the halfway stage. So, Williamson went after Coulter-Nile, attempting to lift him over covers but found Suryakumar Yadav at extra cover to be caught for 24. A ball later, against Chawla, Warner went for a pull and ended up being bowled for 37.

Coulter-Nile stars on return
KKR put up a brilliant bowling display with paceman Coulter-Nile playing the starring role. A few KKR batsmen got the starts but just when it looked they will hit the top gear, the bowlers stopped them in their tracks. Yuvraj Singh and Vijay Shankar, the two new batsmen, had shown some promise. Yuvraj, with a four, got off the mark while Shankar hit a four and a huge six over long-on as the death overs approached. After 15 overs, SRH were 98/3 and the two batsmen were hitting well. Then, Umesh returned and dropped a bouncer which lured Yuvraj into playing a hook shot and holed out to Chawla at the deep square leg boundary for 9. Coulter-Nile came to bowl the penultimate over and got rid of Shankar for a run-a-ball 16. A ball later, recovering from his bowling follow through, the Australian pacer dived to his left, taking a one-handed catch to dismiss Chris Jordan for a duck. Coulter-Nile was returning from an injury and stepped up to deliver a quality performance in a crucial contest, taking 3/20 in four overs. And by the time rain started pelting, KKR had restricted the defending champions to 128/7.


Rain threatens to play spoilsport
From the moment players and the two umpires went off the field after SRH ended their innings, the eliminator was under the constant rain threat for close to two and a half hours. KKR players must have endured nervous moments waiting inside their dressing room because had the rain continued, SRH would have gone through to the next qualifier on account of finishing ahead of KKR in the points tally. But unlike the league games, there are different provisions for the playoffs which meant the game could have started as late as 1:20 am (IST) for a Super Over to decide the winner. So, there was hope. And finally, around 12:35 am when the rain had truly subsided, and after the umpires' inspection, the match resumed at 12:55 am with KKR chasing a revised target of 48 from six overs as per Duckworth Lewis method.

KKR cruise to Qualifier 2 after early hiccups

KKR didn't have much to chase but the conditions and Bhuvneshwar Kumar made it seem a difficult proposition early on. Chris Lynn deposited second delivery of the chase, from Bhuvneshwar, for a six. Off the next ball, he was out caught behind. Out came Yusuf Pathan and a moment of indecision and some brilliant work from Bhuvneshwar sent the KKR batsman back after being run out for a duck. And then entered captain Gambhir who maintained his calm to steer the chase after the two early blows. But Uthappa holed out in the next over for 1 off Chris Jordan and KKR were 12/3. Gambhir though managed to hit a six in the same over to make the equation 27 off 24 balls. Legspinner Rashid Khan bowled two valiant overs to play his part, allowing 11 runs in them but Gambhir hit a four and a six off Siddharth Kaul to make it a formality. KKR will now face Mumbai Indians in the second Qualifier at the same venue on Friday.(TOI)


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