Kolkata Knight Riders’ smart play, rain pour cold water on Sunrisers Hyderabad | ipl 2017 | Hindustan Times
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Kolkata Knight Riders’ smart play, rain pour cold water on Sunrisers Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders defeated defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets by D/L method in the IPL 2017 eliminator on Wednesday, knocking them out of the tournament

ipl 2017 Updated: May 18, 2017 17:55 IST
HT Correspondent
Gautam Gambhir’s shrewd captaincy and his calm and composed batting for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has been key to the team’s success this season.
Gautam Gambhir’s shrewd captaincy and his calm and composed batting for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has been key to the team’s success this season.(AFP)

Kolkata Knight Riders’ dismal run ended impressively on Wednesday as they beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets in a rain-marred match to go through to Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

HT looks at three reasons why the former champions could turn things around to eliminate defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad:

Disciplined bowling

With Sunrisers Hyderabad boasting of the top two run-getters of the IPL this season, keeping them under check was a remarkable achievement. Umesh Yadav and Trent Boult stuck to a disciplined line and length while Sunil Narine and others quickly went through their overs to add to the frustration.

READ | How Sunrisers Hyderabad were caught out by Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2017

Sunrisers Hyderabad could score only 30 runs in the powerplay overs before Nathan Coulter-Nile ran through the batting order, picking up three wickets, including two in the penultimate over, to restrict the holders to a modest 128.

Gautam Gambhir

Be it his shrewd captaincy or his composed batting, the KKR skipper made the difference between the two sides by a mile. He switched his bowlers well, had aggressive field set-ups (two slips and a short leg for Yuvraj in the 14th over), and kept a calm head when SRH wickets were tumbling to see off the game in style.

READ | Virender Sehwag pokes fun at VVS Laxman during rain-marred IPL 2017 playoff

Despite the paltry revised target of 48 in six overs, his 32 not out off 19 balls was extremely crucial as it bailed his side out of trouble they had put themselves in.

Rain

As Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling coach Muttiah Muraitharan pointed out in the media conference, Kolkata Knight Riders were extremely lucky the rain didn’t go on for 20 minutes. SRH had a better standing in the group stage and would have gone through to Qualifier 2 had there been no play.

READ | Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner says batting vs KKR was ‘below par’

And, the target of 129 might not look great, but teams have successfully defended even 138 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium this season. That KKR had to chase down a reduced target may have been a blessing in disguise as they might have found it difficult if they had to play all 20 overs.