Hurricanes v Knight Riders, 1st semi-final, CLT20, Hyderabad October 2, 2014

Spin tornado sees off Hurricanes

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Kolkata Knight Riders 141 for 3 (Kallis 54*, Pandey 40) beat Hobart Hurricanes 140 for 6 (Malik 66*) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kuldeep Yadav and other KKR spinners restricted Hurricanes to 140 © BCCI

Kolkata Knight Riders took their winning streak to 14, the joint second-highest in Twenty20 history, and made it to their first Champions League T20 final after the spinners reduced Hobart Hurricanes to 140 for 6. Having lost captain Tim Paine to a stomach bug, Hurricanes had to contend with 16 overs of spin, including the opening spell of Yusuf Pathan. They couldn't break free of their chokehold, reaching 140 thanks only to Shoaib Malik's late surge. Knight Riders, however, made a bit of heavy weather of the chase, with Jacques Kallis and Yusuf getting stuck in the end, bringing the equation up to 21 off 13 before finishing it off with five balls to spare.

Knight Riders stuck to their winning formula after the stand-in Hurricanes captain Xavier Doherty chose to bat on what looked like a flat hard pitch. By the time Yusuf sent down the first over, it was obvious it was a pitch slower than expected. Andre Russell provided the first breakthrough by latching on to a tough leading edge off his own bowling, with Dom Michael being undone by the slowness of the surface. In the next over, Hurricanes' batsman of the tournament, Aiden Blizzard got a rough decision, given lbw off a thick inside edge.

From then on it was going to be a catch-up game for Hurricanes. Knight Riders made sure they didn't take too many liberties by bringing on their two attacking spinners, Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav, one after the other. As a result, Hurricanes had to be watchful, crawling to 54 for 3 in 10 overs, their lowest 10-over score of the tournament. Ben Dunk did majority of the scoring in the first half, but Kuldeep accounted for him.

It was down to Malik, their best player of the spin, to provide them some sort of fighting total. Malik obliged, taking 21 runs off the 19th over, bowled by Kuldeep, but the support from the other side was hard to come by. Take out 105 from 75 balls scored between Malik and Dunk, you have precious nothing from the rest of the team.

However, the rest of the team was spirited in defence of the small target. The fast bowlers, Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger, got stuck into Gautam Gambhir and had him early. An adventurous shot off Doherty accounted for Robin Uthappa, and Knight Riders were 44 for 2 off 44 legal deliveries. Kallis then provided the solidness, and Manish Pandey gave them the impetus by peppering his favourite wide long-on area. Hurricanes didn't help their own case with three missed run-outs, and Pandey's wicket off a no-ball.

The free hit went for four, followed by another, bringing the equation down to 49 off 42. When Pandey holed out to long-on in the 16th over, he left Knight Riders just 34 off 28. The next 15 balls were mostly yorkers, conceded just 13, drew some frustrated shots from Yusuf and Kallis, and the game was in the balance with 21 required off 13. Ben Laughlin then failed to execute his yorker with the last ball of the 18th over, and Yusuf crashed it through extra cover.

Doherty was now left with a big decision. He and Bollinger had an over each left, and he went against the conventional wisdom to bowl the 19th himself. Kallis stepped out first ball, and crashed him for a six first up. That was game done for all practical purposes, but Hilfenhaus provided the finishing touch by parrying off the first ball of the 20th over for a six after having misjudged a catch.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Devashish on October 3, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    @Greatest_Game --- The sole purpose of Kallis being in the team is for his experience ... And his 4 overs which have been underused ... I would rather have Shakib in that position but he has missed out ... I still stand by this side and order for the final ... Kallis' prowess would be very handy for a collapse ... Otherwise in the last 2 games KKR's batting has been quite effective

  • Muhammad on October 3, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    If Indian local players are so good, why can't they play one CLT20 with their Syed Mushtaq Ali teams instead of IPL ones just as an experiment? To make it fair, every country should bring its domestic team instead of leagues.

  • David on October 3, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    @ Knight_Rider_11. Why would you put Kallis so far down the batting order. His value is as an anchor, steadily accumulating with a boundary per over, & rotating the strike, all of which take pressure off the do or die aggressive batsmen, and keep them focussed & disciplined. You don't want Kallis as a closer - that is where you will get the worst out of him.

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2014, 0:18 GMT

    I can't believe some readers are still saying Indian players are not performing. Take a look carefully guyz. Even today's match Aksar patel performed very well. This year's Champions league is filled with Indian Players' heroics. If you cannot see that then I must say you are actively ignoring or are being jealous of Indian players.

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2014, 0:05 GMT

    Wrong decision making yesturday for Hobart Hurricanes to bat first...

  • Devashish on October 3, 2014, 0:03 GMT

    The best playing XI in the final would be (in batting order) : Uthappa, Gambhir, Pandey, Pathan, Kallis, Tendo, Chawla, Surya, Russell, Cummins, Umesh ... I know I have left out Kuldeep but I think a new ball pair of Umesh and Cummins would be better against good players of spin from CSK ... also Russell has been working up some pace this tournament so the follow up is also good... Always like pace over spin ...might do the trick on the final

  • Zam on October 2, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    There is nothing wrong in having international players who add quality to the tournament. And all sides are free to have them. I find this rant against IPL, often seen on this forum, as a case of sour grapes, and its quite socialistic preaching. That is instead of applauding a successful formulation of a professional setup that welcomes quality talent, over national restrictions, here are some people, who feel, its better to dumb down quality, by closing borders and bet on mediocrity. Talent that is unrestricted by borders, will and as demonstrated by IPL, only further developed the flowering of domestic talent. Please get your clubs to sign some international talents and stop whining, why others are doing, as complaining won't change the evolution of the game, which is in the direction of more a borderless world of sport.

  • Android on October 2, 2014, 18:08 GMT

    My playing 11 against chennai. .Robin..gambir.jaq..Manish. .yusuf..tranda. .Russel. .chwala. .commins. .umesh yadav. ..surya. ..

  • David on October 2, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    @ RD_CricFan says "Its IPL event again...IPL teams in final."

    By IPL I guess you mean International Players League? Internationals won both MOM awards & made the big runs & fielding plays today. Kallis, Malik, Dunk, Bravo, du Plessis, etc scored the runs. Pandey was the only Indian player who showed up with a bat, with good cameos from Jadega & Ashkar Patel. The so-called Indian batting powerhouses Dhoni, Raina, Sewag, Gambhir, Saha, Vohra …fail…fail…fail!

    The brilliant fielding was also by the Internationals. McCullum, du Plessis, Bravo etc. (Maxwell, both batting & fielding, showed again he is the most overrated player in the world. The Internationals Brigade had already dropped him & sent him back to club cricket in the Aussie outback - why was he back in Kings XI?)

    Some great Indian bowling today. Awana was on fire! What a hat trick! Why is he not in the Indian teams when penetrating bowling is needed? Nehra, Mohit & Negi were good too. Great prospects for them. Good to see!

  • Dipanjan on October 2, 2014, 17:37 GMT

    We have an excitement finals lined up on Saturday. I will be glued to Star Sports to watch the live action out there. With Narine out, this is really anybody's cup now.

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