New Delhi: Gautam Gambhir raised his hand in the air even as he completed the single Kolkata needed to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad as if to thank the weather gods for seeing the team through to Qualifier 2. With rain playing spoilsport, KKR needed just 48 off 6 overs as the Duckworth-Lewis method came into play. Hyderabad had managed to score 128/7 in their 20 overs at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
With rain almost dashing Kolkata’s hopes of coming out to chase Hyderabad’s total, KKR would have been more than happy when rain finally relented and the Knight got a revised target. David Warner and his boys weren’t too keen to come out as a wash-out would mean that they would go through as they had finished higher in the points table in the group phase.
And even though it wasn’t the perfect start for KKR as Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent back Chris Lynn (6) and Yusuf Pathan (0) off successive deliveries in the first over itself, skipper Gambhir and Ishank Jaggi ensured that there were no further mishaps.
Robin Uthappa too failed to impress after opening the batting with Lynn instead of the Australian’s new opening partner Sunil Narine. Uthappa scored just 1 off 2 deliveries as his pull off Chris Jordan landed straight into the palm of Shikhar Dhawan at the mid-wicket boundary.
But Gambhir and Jaggi kept rotating the strike and punished the bad deliveries as Gambhir finished unbeaten on 32 off 19 balls and Jaggi managed 5 off 8 balls as KKR reached home with 4 balls remaining.
Earlier, it was a poor batting display from the Sunrisers Hyderabad batsmen after Gambhir won the toss and put them in to bat. Even though Warner said that he was keen to bat first, the start didn’t seem too impressive.
With the score on 25, Dhawan was dismissed by Umesh Yadav as he top-edged a hoick to give wicket-keeper Uthappa a high catch. With Dhawan gone for 11, Kane Williamson joined Warner in the middle.
The two seemed to be ticking away with singles and doubles as the KKR bowlers bowled a tight line. In fact, the wicket at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium once again played slow, a stark contrast from earlier years when batsmen made hay on flat decks.
Gambhir was more than happy to introduce a third spinner in Yusuf Pathan with Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla already part of the bowling arsenal.
And this disciplined effort from the KKR bowlers finally saw Williamson perished as he tried to up the ante and hit Nathan Coulter-Nile straight to Suryakumar Yadav at cover. Williamson didn’t get the required elevation and was dismissed for 24 off 26 balls. SRH’s score read 75/2 in 11.6 overs.
But more than Williamson, it was the dismissal of Warner (37) in the very next over off Chawla that hurt Hyderabad the most. Even though Warner wasn’t his explosive self, he had managed to keep things moving. But once he got out in the 13th over, it was all downhill for the defending champions.
Yuvraj too flattered to deceive as he was dismissed for 9 as he tried to pull Umesh into the mid-wicket stands. The ball hit the bottom of the bat and Chawla completed a regulation catch. Hyderabad’s score read 99/4 in the 16th over.
After that it was the Coulter-Nile show as he dismissed Vijay Shankar (22) and Chris Jordan (0) in a space of three deliveries in the 19th over to derail the backend of the Hyderabad innings. In the end, they could manage just 128/7 in their 20 overs, with Trent Boult dismissing Naman Ojha (16) off the last ball of the innings, caught by Lynn.