Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016, Kolkata May 22, 2016

Spinners, Yusuf lead Knight Riders into playoffs

The Report by Sirish Raghavan

Kolkata Knight Riders 171 for 6 (Yusuf 52, Pandey 48, Hooda 2-16) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 148 for 8 (Dhawan 51, Narine 3-26, Kuldeep 2-28) by 22 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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O'Brien: Almost a perfect game for Knight Riders

Home advantage counts. But only if you are well-equipped to use it. With four spin options to call upon on a parched Eden Gardens pitch, Kolkata Knight Riders strangled Sunrisers Hyderabad to defend 171 and pull off a 22-run victory. The win helped them secure a playoff berth, while ending Mumbai Indians' journey in the tournament.

Sunil Narine delivered his most incisive bowling spell of the tournament, with figures of 3 for 26 in four overs. His partner in crime was Kuldeep Yadav, the 21-year-old chinaman bowler who had replaced Piyush Chawla in the Knight Riders XI. Kuldeep showed a willingness to flight the ball and repeatedly beat the batsmen with his sharp turn and canny googlies. Figures of 2 for 28, impressive as they are, do not do justice to the skill with which he bowled or the impact he made. As Sunrisers fell further and further behind, the match moved towards a tame finish.

Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan set the match up after Knight Riders slipped to 57 for 3 in the eighth over. The pair added 87 off just 49 balls, with Pandey doing most of the running early on. He slog-swept Karn Sharma, the legspinner, for consecutive sixes over midwicket in the ninth over to trigger a surge in boundaries.

As the partnership progressed and Yusuf joined the run-fest, the two batsmen set Knight Riders up for a 180 plus total. But Pandey's dismissal for a 30-ball 48 - he carved a wide full toss from Bhuvneshwar Kumar straight to Kane Williamson at backward point, in the 16th over - sapped momentum out of Knight Riders' innings.

Mustafizur Rahman brought out his usual display of well-disguised cutters to tie the batsmen down in the 17th and 19th overs. Barinder Sran, who bowled the 18th over, and Bhuvneshwar, who bowled the 20th, executed their slower variations with exquisite control. The lower-order batsmen found it hard to adjust to the slow pace of the wicket and even Yusuf lost his timing as the ball got older. Knight Riders managed just 27 off 26 after Pandey's dismissal, finishing with 171 for 6.

In hindsight, Knight Riders' struggles in the final few overs was an ominous sign for Sunrisers. On a slow, disintegrating wicket, Knight Riders opened the bowling with Yusuf and liberally drew upon their spin reserves throughout the innings.

When Narine was introduced in the fourth over, David Warner was determined not to let him settle. But that effort lasted just three balls. After an unsuccessful attempt at a reverse-sweep and a swat over wide mid-on for six, Warner was beaten by a fuller, flighted off-break that pitched just outside leg and turned sharply to cannon into leg stump.

For a while thereafter, Shikhar Dhawan kept Sunrisers' alive with a 30-ball 51 that included four fours and three sixes. While he was the beneficiary of a number of half-volleys on the pads, Dhawan showed glimpses of the sweet timing that comes so easily when he is at his best. But when a slog sweep off Kuldeep in the 12th over found Colin Munro at deep mid-wicket, the Sunrisers innings went off the rails.

Incoming batsmen found the spinners difficult to get away and perished in search of big shots. Seven wickets fell for 58 runs between the 12th over and the 20th, as Sunrisers lost their way in an anti-climactic denouement.

Knight Riders' clutch victory came despite the absence of Andre Russell due to a leg injury. That is an indicator of the depth in their squad and will be a source of confidence in the playoffs.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rithvik Vallala on May 23, 2016, 21:52 GMT

    I am a hyderabad fan and a considerably good analyst. SRH's problems in the "middle-order" are what i do not believe are the problems. They have the potential to have a successful middle order but [I am an english fan, but have deep respect for VVS laxman] laxman's love for williamson is blinding the fact that ben cutting is the goto option since he is the best batsmen for the spot but there is also the added bonus of his bowling, a real asset especially in chinnaswamy. the bowling should be Fizzzzz, bhuvi, sran, henriques, cutting, and yuvraj and hooda for spin and ashish reddy for some pace off. [karn is no longer cutout for this] this leaves 3 bowlers with sran and fizz the only ones that cant bat. 1.warner 2.dhawan 3.hooda 4.yuvraj 5.cutting 6. henriques 7. naman ojha 8.ashish reddy 9.bhuvi 10.sran 11.fizzzzz. This is clearly the best lineup and yuvraj by the way has been great and underappreciated this season. except naman all these batsmen have shown their potential. GO SRH

  • sree on May 23, 2016, 19:10 GMT

    SRH can try this interesting batting order for their knockout match. They have nothing to lose.

    1 Kane 2 Dhawan 3 Ahish Reddy 4 Warner 5 Yuvraj 6 Henriques 7 Hooda 8 Ojha 9 Bhuvi 10 Sran 11 Mustafiz

    Yes, you heard it right and the same mistake that Aussies did. Warner at 4. SRH simply have no option but to take this risk. Allow Kane to settle and score. Dhawan as usual. The gamble is Ahish Reddy as pinch hitter. Even if he scores a quick 20+ off 10 it is job done. Then allow captain Warner can control things in the middle. He will have 4 guys to operate with. So it may be a foolish move but better than Kane at 5 as they did in last match. If at 10 overs they are 80 and lose a wicket then Warner can directly come instead of Reddy. If they are 40+ at 7 overs then send Reddy to pinch hit. People talk of flexibility, but i don't understand the rigid batting orders like SRH.

  • sree on May 23, 2016, 19:00 GMT

    O'Brien the cricinfo analyst spoke perfectly of the SRH. Warner looks jaded and tired carrying his team's batting weight on his lone shoulders. His face almost says it all - "folks, this is a 11 man game and only one man batting just won't suffice". Such a big shame on Morgan, Kane, Yuvraj, Henriques, Hooda and Ojha. None have taken the responsibility of supporting Warner. The only way they can redeem their individual pride is play like wounded tigers and show their team what they are capable of. Imagine Morgan and Yuvraj playing to their full potential. Imagine Hooda and Ojha play those quick fire cameos, imagine Henriques playing a blinder. That is all they need now. Their bowling suddenly looks tired as the same unit has bowled through out the tournament. They need to spring a surprise at least the order in which they are bowled. Bowling tips - open with Yuvraj or Hooda. Conserve Mustafiz until they accelerate, like when Yusuf is on. Use Yuvraj at wicket fall.

  • cool on May 23, 2016, 16:57 GMT

    Sunrisers deserve no place. The r simply blocking team like MI or DD from playing play offs.They r no match to other 3 in the table.If given one more game before deciding playoffs, Sunrisers without doubt would have lost that too.No momentum, no form whatsoever, wonder how they got here in the firstPlace, they should have be up there at the bottom table fighting to avoid wooden spoon vs KXIP and RPSG.

  • Mustaf4174132 on May 23, 2016, 13:45 GMT

    It was a big mistake sending onha one down.

  • dhruvk8247489 on May 23, 2016, 12:50 GMT

    What n lovely match . Very nice batting & bowling from Kolkata & best wishes from me

  • yasirc3221474 on May 23, 2016, 10:15 GMT

    Yusuf is playing sensibly in this tournament so far but he has his own issues against pacers he should be given a chance in upcoming tours

  •   Cricinfouser on May 23, 2016, 10:04 GMT

    KKR did a mistake by sending Shakib ahead of Surya kumar Yadav . At that stage, he was the apt finisher . But they could have send Shakib up the order instead of Colin munro . Im sure KKR could have easily made 190+ with Pathan , Surya and Munro for the final overs .

  • Sudakar on May 23, 2016, 8:54 GMT

    SRH has done pretty well to restrict KKR to 171 from the position 140 for 3 in the 14th over both Pandey and Pathan going strong. Until 10th over in its innings Srh was sailing smooth with 1 for 80 Dhawan timing the ball well for first time in this IPL. Then came the biggest mistake made by sending Ojha one down only to see him not middling the ball and wasting so many deliveries. Once kane was picked up the ideal position for him would have been number three. The downfall started from there and ended with Hooda's run out. What was he up to, having hit straight to the fielder and attempting a second non existing run, just sheer outrageous!

  • Kanakaraj on May 23, 2016, 8:30 GMT

    SRH is looking listless. Not sure how they have qualified for play offs. Now they have to play two knock out matches to qualify for final. GL and RCB are strong teams and no hope for SRH to defeat them with the kind of pathetic batting order they have. SRH might have won against Delhi and rested some key players against KKR, instead SRH messed up everything. Only a miracle can help SRH to lift the trophy in the finals. Im expecting GL and RCB in finals.

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