Hyderabad v Kolkata, IPL 2013, Hyderabad May 19, 2013

Sunrisers hold nerve to make playoffs


Sunrisers Hyderabad 132 for 5 (Parthiv 47, Dhawan 42, Abdulla 3-29) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 130 for 7 (Yusuf 49*, Steyn 2-24) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sunrisers Hyderabad threatened to blaze into the playoffs. They then opened the back door for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Then Darren Sammy danced down the track and lofted Iqbal Abdulla for successive sixes to send the Uppal Stadium into a frenzy. Sunrisers had taken the final playoff spot in their debut IPL season, after almost blowing it towards the end.

Having watched their bowlers tie Rajasthan Royals in knots during a similar chase two nights ago, Parthiv Patel and Shikhar Dhawan came out determined to be positive. They continued in the same manner for 89 runs in just over 11 overs, and had it not been for a rather needless reverse-sweep attempted by Dhawan, Sunrisers, Royal Challengers and their respective fans would have been spared several tense minutes.

It was Parthiv who all but sealed the chase at the start. He came out in a volley of cuts, pulls and flicks when offered the slightest width. By the time Dhawan slog-swept Yusuf Pathan for his first boundary, Parthiv was already on 31 off 20. Dhawan now started to toy with the bowling, walking out to hit through extra cover and jumping to slash Jacques Kallis for six over cover.

This was the same slow pitch on which Kolkata Knight Riders had limped to 130. Even after Dhawan went leg-before to Abdulla, Sunrisers needed 31 off 40 at one stage. Then Parthiv walked out to Abdulla and was given leg-before.

Hanuma Vihari, as he has done often in the season, sucked momentum out of the innings. And then heaved a top-edge to backward point after making 6 off 13. In between, he was involved in a terrible mix-up that led to the run-out of Cameron White. Shami Ahmed disturbed Thisara Perera's bails with a yorker, and Sunrisers suddenly needed 19 of 13.

Fortunately, Biplab Samantray got one on the pads to put it away for four. Sammy, who had been made to look absolutely clueless by Sunil Narine during the 17th over which was a maiden, found enough courage to step out to Abdulla and finish the game with a couple of sixes.

Only Yusuf has been able to hit sixes when Knight Riders batted after winning the toss. Gautam Gambhir had run himself out again, and none of the other batsmen had been able to get the measure of a slow pitch and an attack that had thrived on it through the season.

Dale Steyn and Anand Rajan, who replaced the ill Ishant Sharma, hardly provided any width, and the legspinners Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma tied Knight Riders down further. They tossed it up, they bowled flat and quick, they turned legbreaks, they turned their googlies. And Knight Riders plodded on, finding no rhythm at all.

Yusuf has not done much during three seasons at Knight Riders, but he appeared to find some touch towards the end of this season. He looked determined from the outset and even recovered from a 147 kph Steyn bouncer to pull him for six next ball. He was not able to get too much strike at the death, and though he hit the last ball of the innings for six, 130 did not challenge Sunrisers. Until, that is, they themselves panicked when the playoffs beckoned, before Sammy held his nerve.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mahbubur on May 21, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    @Nampally, I think White should carry on as he has been a superb captain for SRH. As a captain he is better than Sangka. And in the case of form, white has scored one 50 and one 40. Sanga did not even managed to do that. Captaincy is vital in T20.

  • John on May 20, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    I'm pleased that SRH qualified. It's nice when teams without As many marquee names like RR and SRH qualify. RCB have 3 of the best T20 batsman in the world in Gayle,AB and Kohli but were probably over reliant on these players. I feel the 2 of the key reasons why SRH qualified are Steyn and Sammy. Sammy should have played from the off and despite still not being captain now , I feel he should take the reins. CSK and MI are rightfully the favourites but it would be great to see RR or SRH at least make it to the final

  • John on May 20, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    @gsingh7 on (May 20, 2013, 9:13 GMT) Bad luck - RCB lost out fair and square. If your past predictions are anything to go by I reckon it may be worth a punt on SRH

  • Balasubramanian on May 20, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    Mighty sixes do not win tournaments. Consistent play does.

  • vas on May 20, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    It is going to be CSK v SRH finals.

    CSK - Most consistent. Good away record. History of previous successes in play-offs and finals.

    MI - Good home record. But away record not so good. Memory of past performances in play- offs and finals might trouble them.

    RR - Played well under Dravid. Good home wins. Away record not so good. Won IPL 1. Since then never reached the play-offs. Look tired after the recent spot fixing saga. Lack of Indian spinners will upset the team balance.

    SRH - Good home record. Delhi and kolkatta conditions similar to Hyderabad. Reaching play-offs with the underdogs tag attached will energise them to go even higher.

  • Mihil on May 20, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Sanga has been inconsistent whole season though he scored couple of good 20's white can play the aggressor better than him. Besides it's not like SRH is void of other capable captains when there is able sammy in the side. White could play some big shots in anycase playoff match went to super over. Sanga come home. Show your stuff in Champions league. Not this hit and giggle series. Good luck thisara, you're the most valuable possesion SRH got. Go win the title.

  • santosh on May 20, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Surprisingly, Steyn stands on 5th place in an analysis of IPL 6 bowling. 3 Indicators were taken namely - Wickets per Innings, Economy Rate and Strike Rate. Subsequently, those ballers were filtered having 10 or more wickets and an economy rate of 7 or less, thus 13 ballers were available for further analysis. In each case top and bottom ranker were provided a score of 13 and 1 respectively. On adding the scores of all 3 indicators, the result was astonishing! The ballers in decreasing order are - Sunil Narain (35), Mohit Sharma (34), Faulkner (33), Amit Mishra (26) and Dale Steyn and Rampaul both securing 22 points!!! Look at the unsung achievement of young Mohit Sharma!!!!!

  • John on May 20, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Weldone SRH. This team is looking much better under White's leadership. Sanga never looked like a cataincy material & his current batting form is aweful.

  • Nadeera on May 20, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    KKR's major issue is that overrated Kallis.look at his batting SR 96.Rajat Bhatia is better batsman than Kallis IN THIS IPL.I think KKR lost Shakib badly.He is an aggressive cricketer than Kallis.

  • Thyagarajan on May 20, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    My guess is it is going to be a CSK vs MI finals. CSK will most likely beat MI in the Q1 going by the way they play play-offs and SRH will beat RR in the eliminator. RR's morale is completely down and I can see that in Dravid's face. It is ironic that it has to happen to one of the most ethical captain and player around. So RR to win from this frame of mind will be a tough ask but who knows, they may spring a surprise though. If it is SRH, then MI will easily beat them. If it is RR, then MI will have a tough time since RR would have gotten over their crisis situation to beat SRH and would be upbeat. So it would be CSK vs MI or CSK vs RR in the finals. Finals can then be anybody's game.