KKR beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 35 runs
Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders bounced back in the home leg in style by notching up a comprehensive 35-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket here today.
Defending a fighting total of 167, KKR were given a rollicking start by their speedster Umesh Yadav, who castled dangerman David Warner (4) and Naman Ojha (0) in the first over, and the visitors failed to recover from the double blow to finish at 132 for nine.
The KKR spin duo of Brad Hogg (2/17) and Piyush Chawla (1/16) tightened the noose further around SRH, handing them their third defeat in as many outings at the Eden Gardens.
While their top batsmen failed to impress, Moises Henriques (41 from 33 balls) and Karn Sharma (32 from 20) put up a fight, but it proved to be too late, too little for Sunrisers.
KKR (11) jumped past Royal Challengers Bangalore (9) to the third spot in the table, brightening their hopes of qualifying for the play-offs. The big win also gave a fillip to their net run-rate.
The defending champions next play Delhi Daredevils (May 7) and Kings XI Punjab (May 10) to conclude their home leg.
SRH, on the other hand, remained on fifth position with eight points from nine matches.
It was another welcome homecoming for KKR, who know how to win at the Eden, and everything fell in order even as none of their batsmen could convert their starts after being put in by SRH skipper David Warner.
From 55 for no loss in the first six overs the hosts were reduced to 86/3 in 12 with the Sharma duo — Karn and Bipul — conceding just 52 runs between them in eight overs while taking the crucial wickets of Gautam Gambhir (31), Robin Uthappa (30) and Andre Russell (1).
Left-arm spinner Bipul (1/23) ran out Manish Pandey (33), before Yusuf Pathan slammed 30 off 19 balls to lift his side’s total to 167.
In reply, SRH batting fell like nine pins after Umesh Yadav rocked the top-order with his twin blow in his first over, including the prized scalp of Warner.
The SRH captain, who has struck five half-centuries already this season, got going with a boundary but Yadav bounced back in the next ball to disturb his off stump.
Yadav went on to castle Ojha for a duck in the last ball of the first over to leave SRH reeling at 6/2.
It was the start KKR needed before spin was introduced and SRH’s batting frailty just made their task easier.
SRH’s Indian star Shikhar Dhawan played an irresponsible shot and got out to Hogg in his first over, pulling one straight to Manish Pandey at square leg.
Nothing going their away, SRH somehow bolstered their hopes with Henriques slamming Pathan for two sixes and one four to collect 19 runs and lift their run-rate, but KKR kept taking wickets at regular intervals.
Before the Henriques-Eoin Morgan partnership could make it big, the Englishman was run out.
There was a scare for KKR when Russell sustained an injury on his left shoulder and it seemed to be dislocation. The player awkwardly fell while diving to save a boundary in the third over of the innings.
Russell was seen writhing in pain and walked off the field with physio Andrew Leipus but, to KKR’s delight, the burly West Indian returned to the field in the ninth over.
Earlier Karn and Bipul, who was included in place of Ashish Reddy, took full advantage of the slow nature of the pitch, and were instrumental in KKR’s slide after a flying start given by the duo of Uthappa and Gambhir.
The spin duo of Karn and Bipul bowled tidily and a flurry of dot balls followed after the dismissal of the KKR skipper.
The tight bowling was aided by some smart fielding with SRH skipper Warner leading the show with a stunning flying catch at cover to dismiss Uthappa.
Well aware of Pandey’s weakness against spin, Warner persisted with the Sharma duo from both ends and almost dismissed the Karnataka recruit with Morgan’s acrobatic effort at long-on.
An edgy looking Pandey stepped out to hit Bipul over long-on but the Englishman leapt up, took the catch airborne and threw it to the back-up fielder Hanuma Vihari before landing.
But the SRH back-up fielder failed to anticipate and let down a spectacular effort.
A ball later, Bipul opened his account with Russell miscuing one to the long-on and Morgan this time had it easy with the ball landing safe inside the boundary.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 167/7 in 20 overs
(Manish Pandey 33, Gautam Gambhir 31, Robin Uthappa 30, Yusuf Pathan 30; Karn Sharma 2/29, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/42)
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 132/9 in 20 overs
(Moises Henriques 41, Karn Sharma 32; Brad Hogg 2/17, Umesh Yadav 2/34).
Player of the match – UT Yadav (Kolkata Knight Riders)