Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets as rain played spoilsport to disrupt the 2017 Indian Premier League Eliminator on Wednesday. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir was a nervous man as rain kept both teams on tenterhooks. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)
Gautam Gambhir’s Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers managed to restrict the solid Sunrisers Hyderabad batting order to 128 for seven wickets at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore as showers began to disrupt the last over of the innings.
After a delayed start to the Kolkata Knight Riders innings -- and a revised total of 48 to chase down from six overs after application of the Duckworth-Lewis method -- the match ended well past 1am on Thursday as Gambhir & Co successfully chased down the target in 5.2 overs.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ batsmen looked to finish things early which led to the fall of three wickets in the space of six deliveries. Chris Lynn (7, caught behind), Yusuf Pathan (0, run out) and Robin Uthappa (1, caught) departed, leaving it to captain Gautam Gambhir and Ishank Jaggi to complete the formalities.
Gambhir led from the front with 32 runs, including two fours and two sixes.
Credit to KKR bowlers: Gambhir
Asked about the victory after the match, Gambhir praised the effort put in by his bowlers.
“A lot of credit to the bowlers. They set the game up for us. We should have been more sensible with the batting, though. But the bowlers restricting the Sunrisers batting to 128 was brilliant,” he said.
Gambhir carried on to say that elimination to Sunrisers Hyderabad at the same stage last year had played on their minds and motivated them to play better. Sunrisers Hyderabad had won the 2016 IPL Eliminator against Kolkata Knight Riders by 22 runs in New Delhi.
“There have been times when we’ve lacked intensity. And every run we stop on the field is one less to score and all 11 players were up for that. They knew that last time Sunrisers beat us in this Eliminator and they got it back for us,” he added.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ last visit to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium saw them beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets on May 7.
Damp wicket suited KKR: Gambhir
Gambhir felt the rain-soaked wicket on Wednesday night was more suitable than when they played on it last week.
“It was a much better wicket than we played RCB on. It was coming onto the bat nicely in our innings. I think if you target 160 you will get a good score. You can’t just go on looking for 200 every game.
Kolkata Knight Riders now play Mumbai Indians in the Qualifier 2 match in the same stadium on Friday.
Bangalore’s inclement weather puts doubts on conditions leading up to the match, especially since the Eliminator faced problems.
Earlier in the season, heavy rain had caused the abandonment of the Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Sunrisers Hyderabad match on April 25 without a ball being bowled.
“You do get nervous (about the rain) and we have played really well this season and our bowlers put in an unbelievable effort and if we had gone out after the rain, it wouldn’t have been good.
“We don’t have a good record against Mumbai Indians, but hopefully we can settle that tomorrow,” Gambhir said.