Kolkata Knight Riders produced a disciplined bowling and fielding effort and some fine batting from skipper Gautam Gambhir to defeat defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by 7 wickets in the IPL Eliminator
Kolkata Knight Riders captain and batsman Gautam Gambhir (L) hugs his team mate Ishank Jaggi (R) after their victory in the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket eliminator match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 18, 2017.Pic/AFP
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Gautam Gambhir led from the front to knock defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a seven-wicket win and made to Qualifier 2 in a rain-interrupted eliminator clash at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday.
KKR will take on Mumbai Indians on Friday at the same venue.
Chasing 48 to win in six overs after rain and wet outfield ate up a large chunk of playing time, forcing Duckworth-Lewis method to come into play, Gambhir steadied the ship after KKR were 12/3 at one stage with an unbeaten 19-ball 32.
Ishank Jaggi, playing his first match, was not out on five.
At the start, Chris Lynn was on the money right away, smacking Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a six in the first ball he faced.
But the second ball saw the destructive Australian get out after replays showed Lynn had edged to wicketkeeper Naman Ojha off a Bhuveshwar near-yorker.
Yusuf Pathan, promoted up the order to score at a brisk pace, lasted just one delivery before he was run out. Robin Uthappa did not last long too, holing out to Shikhar Dhawan at deep mid wicket off Chris Jordan's bowling.
Earlier, KKR rode on a superlative show by their bowlers to restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to 128/7 in 20 overs.
Returning to the side after an injury lay-off, Nathan Coulter-Nile (3/20) impressed with the ball. He was ably supported by Umesh Yadav (2/21).
Sent into bat, it was struggle for Sunrsiers from the onset as skipper David Warner (37) and Shikhar Dhawan (11) found the going tough against the KKR bowling attack on a slowish and difficult M Chinnaswmay pitch.
The slow scoring rate finally took a toll on Sunrisers as Dhawan perished in the second delivery of the fifth over.
Dhawan slashed at a good length delivery of Umesh only managing to balloon it to Robin Uthappa behind the stumps with the Sunrisers scoreboard reading 25 for one.
With the boundaries hard to come by, Warner finally broke the shackles in the ninth over clobbering Piyush Chawla's (1/27) short delivery over midwicket boundary for a maximum.
New man in Kane Williamson (24) showed his class as he smacked Coulter-Nile for a boundary and a huge six off consecutive balls to pick up 13 runs of the 10th over.
At the halfway stage, Sunrisers were 61 for one.
With time Warner grew in confidence and his big hitting skills came to the fore. He didn't spare a single loose ball and clobbered a marginally short delivery from Sunil Narine way over the long on boundary.
But just when the partnership between Warner and Williamson was looking dangerous, twin blows in consecutive overs rattled Sunrisers' innings.
First Williamson departed caught at extra cover by Suryakumar Yadav off Coulter-Nile while trying to lift the ball over the in-field and then in the next over dangerous Warner was cleaned up by Chawla.
The duo stitched 50 runs for the second wicket off 44 balls balls.
Yuvraj Singh (9) and young Vijay Shankar (22) shared quick 24 runs of three overs for the fourth wicket before the former fell, caught by Chawla at deep backward square-leg off Umesh while trying to up the ante.
Coulter-Nile then struck twice in the 19th over, first removing Shankar and then Chris Jordan to make matters worse for Sunrisers.
Naman Ojha made a run-a-ball 16 before perishing in the final delivery of the innings.
KKR's skipper Gautam Gambhir took to Twitter to congratulate his opponents Sunrisers Hyderabad for their effort and also calls them champions.
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