Sunrisers beat Knight Riders, advances to the playoffs
The Sunrisers Hyderabad survived a late attack of nerves and negotiated a tricky chase to storm into the IPL-6 play-offs with a thrilling five-wicket win against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Chasing 131, the Sunrisers hit the ground running as openers Parthiv Patel (47, 37b, 7×4) and Shikhar Dhawan (42, 35b, 3×4, 2×6) punished the Knight Riders attack.
Parthiv played the aggressor’s role early on while Dhawan seemed content to play himself in as the Eagles raced away to 45 from the powerplay overs.
Eventually, Dhawan too turned on the heat and sent the KKR bowlers running for cover. By the time Dhawan was dismissed, he had put together an 89-run partnership with Parthiv -the Sunrisers’ highest partnership for any wicket this season -and set his team well on the road to victory.
However, the batsmen who followed lacked the openers’ fluency. Much like a car running with bald tyres on a slick road, the Eagles veered out of control before Darren Sammy took them home with a two consecutive sixes.
For the visitors, Sunil Narine (4-1-11-0) and Iqbal Abdulla (3.5-0-29-3) were the standout bowlers.
Earlier. all-rounder Yusuf Pathan smashed a quickfire 49 but was let down by his teammates. Pathan’s 29-ball knock, containing three fours and three sixes, formed both the foundation and superstructure of the Kolkata innings. The other eight batsmen managed only 67 more between them. Extras made up the remaining 14.
Taking first strike, KKR openers Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla made a steady start to the innings, collecting 25 runs from a little over four overs. That seemed to set the tone for Kolkata as they ended up with a run-rate of 6.5 runs per over. With the exception of Pathan, none of the batsmen did well. The lion’s share of the credit for the Eagles’ show on the field must go to the Eagles’ legspinners -Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma .