May 25 (): Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) blasted through to the 2nd spot in the play offs of IPL 7 with an enthralling win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Put in to bat, Sunrisers Hyderabad scored 160 with none of the batsmen crossing 30. The innings saw three of its batsmen get run out and also three dropped catches. SRH scored at a rate of 8.6 rpo till up to the 8th but after the fall of Ojha’s wicket for 26, the run rate suffered. It was only due to Sammy’s cameo of 29 off 19 balls, the team was able to achieve 160.
Venugopal Rao, Dhawan and Ojha all got 20’s but did not consolidate on the start which in turn affected the team’s opportunity to make a big score. Narine as usual was the best bowler of the day with only 19 runs scored off his 4 overs. With some drizzle during the last 2-3 overs, it was feared rain might play spoil sport which thankfully did not happen.
KKR started the innings with an option of reaching the target in 15.2 overs which would allow them to move to 2nd spot and have two opportunities to make it to the final. The opening pair added 43 in just 4.4 overs before Gambhir was cleaned up by Holder for 28 off just 18 deliveries. Pandey too returned to the hut after scoring just 2 runs.
Yusuf strode in with KKR requiring 96 in 47 deliveries to finish 2nd – at a run rate of more than 12. Such was the day that SRH returned the favor by dropping Yusuf Pathan twice, once even before he had scored and once on 15 which helped him score the fastest 50 in IPL of just 15 deliveries.
By the end of 10th over, KKR were at 78/4 with Uthappa and RN ten dismissed in the same over. The required equation was 83 for victory in 10 overs and the same to be scored in 32 deliveries for 2nd spot. Yusuf chose the later by scoring 22 runs off Rasool hitting him for 2 sixes. Steyn came to bowl the 13th with the equation at 45 off 20 but by the time the over ended with 2 sixes over long on and long off and 3 hits to the boundary – all consecutively, the equation had come down to 19 off 14. This was the worst over Steyn had bowled all IPL and Yusuf had emulated both A B De Villiers and Dhoni in the process.
Yusuf was finally dismissed for 72 off just 22 deliveries including 7 sixes and he single handedly had taken KKR close to qualifying in the second spot. Kumar ensured KKR did not lose out on the opportunity and hit a six in the 15th over to seal the chase. With 7 wins on the trot, KKR has built up the much required momentum going into the play offs and in their current form look more dangerous than Kings XI Punjab.
IPL 7 Points Table
Table courtesy : espncricinfo.com