Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016, Eliminator, Delhi May 25, 2016

Sunrisers' seamers snuff out Knight Riders

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Sunrisers Hyderabad 162 for 8 (Yuvraj 44, Kuldeep 3-35) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 140 for 8 (Pandey 36, Bhuvneshwar 3-19) beat by 22 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sunrisers Hyderabad were the third team to successfully defend a score in six games in Delhi this IPL season © BCCI

A total had been successfully defended in three out of five matches on slow Feroz Shah Kotla surfaces this season. There was no reason why Sunrisers Hyderabad, with one of the best bowling attacks in the competition despite Ashish Nehra's absence, couldn't defend 163 in a knockout game. Kolkata Knight Riders, the two-time champions, had won six out of their eight games chasing. This was an even contest on a pitch fairly similar to the ones at Eden Gardens. But disciplined bowling and outstanding fielding by Sunrisers derailed Knight Riders and by virtue of the 22-run win, Sunrisers have set up a clash with Gujarat Lions in the second qualifier in Delhi on Friday.

It wasn't a night for manic six-hitting but Yuvraj Singh's 30-ball 44 had all the elements that made him a feared limited-overs batsman once upon a time. Yet the effort that underlined his importance on Wednesday was a direct hit from backward point to dismiss Colin Munro early and induce panic among the Knight Riders.

It also lifted a unit that applied pressure courtesy David Warner's tactful bowling changes to escalate the asking rate. Bhuvneshwar Kumar pulled off a stunning catch at deep midwicket to dismiss the in-form Yusuf Pathan to further dent Knight Riders. At 69 for 4 in the 11th over, they were firmly behind in the game.

A no-holds-barred contest came alive as Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav counterpunched, their 46-run stand, laced with unorthodoxy, caused a few flutters in the Sunrisers camp, but there was always the danger of them perishing in the quest for the big hits. Suryakumar, who was reprieved in the 15th over by Mustafizur Rahman at third man, miscued a slog to Shikhar Dhawan in the next over to leave Knight Riders needing 47 off 24.

Warner summoned his trump card Mustafizur for the first of his two remaining overs, and he responded by conceding just eight. With no option but to look for quick runs, Pandey kept swinging, one of which found Deepak Hooda at long-on. Bhuvneshwar, who finished with 3 for 19, followed the dismissal by spearing in yorkers and full-length deliveries which the batsmen couldn't get underneath. It was reduced to a game of hit-and-miss from there on, much like it was in the first half when Yusuf Pathan and Morne Morkel had Sunrisers, who were sent in, struggling for early momentum.

Dhawan's early wicket forced Warner to tread cautiously. He scored his first boundary off his 10th delivery, but his methods deviated from the usual. Instead of muscular hits, he relied on the drive and dabbing behind the wicket. He was reprieved on 10 when Yusuf put down a difficult chance off his own bowling, but he would only go on to add 18 more. Henriques finished with 31 off 21 and went on to pick up two wickets as well.

By squeezing three bonus overs from Yusuf in the Powerplay, Gambhir ensured he had control over the middle overs. His bowlers also limited Warner's off-side play by sticking to tight lines. The first six was hit by Henriques, when he pulled Yusuf towards deep midwicket to signal Sunrisers' move; the first six overs, four of which were bowled by the spinners, produced 43.

Left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav, introduced in the eighth over, was hard to pick. As well as Warner and Henriques did to rotate strike, the pair found boundary hitting difficult, as a three-over period after the first six brought just one four. Kuldeep exploited the pressure to stun Sunrisers with a double-strike. After taking a skier off his own bowling to send Henriques back, he clean bowled Warner with a wrong' un that beat his slog sweep. At 71 for 3 with 10 overs left, Sunrisers had to start afresh.

Yuvraj walked out to a slip and silly point, and was put through an examination by the wily Narine. He was able to take Kuldeep apart though and one of his two lofted hits was steeped with his old swagger. He raced to 18 off 12. When he starts off in that fashion, especially on a ground with short boundaries, it points to ominous signs.

Hooda was unfazed by the fuss at the other end; deep midwicket being his preferred area. He slogged two superbly-timed sixes, but his run-out after a mix-up with Yuvraj in the 16th over - Kuldeep effected a direct hit at the bowler's end from mid-off - stalled Sunrisers' yet again.

By then, Yuvraj was in a belligerent mood as he picked three leg-side boundaries before a premeditated scoop against Jason Holder resulted in the flattening of his middle stump. Bipul Sharma smacking Morkel for two sixes in the last over gave them momentum going into the break, which they rode on to ensure IPL 2016 will have a new champion.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Frost on May 30, 2016, 17:19 GMT

    I thought this was one of the worst performances this year by M Pandey. Wasim Akram should be removed as a bowling coach. In 8 years this is all KKR has for bowling, it's a shame. Gambhir needs to practice running between wickets to avoid getting himself or the runner out. If it wasn't for A Russell, KKR wouldn't have been in the top four. In short, KKR needs to revamp in every department. It is an experienced team who are good in exploiting at the beginning of the tournament, but as it progresses, they don't have any steam to keep going. I would really like to see another decent fast bowler in the KKR team next year, And I don't mean S Tait.

  • Sreeram on May 26, 2016, 20:19 GMT

    People here are blaming KKR just because they lost. KKR is far better team than SRH. SRH just happened to be better team on that day. Gambir is far better captain than most other. He took KKR from nothing team with just few big names to a winning team. 2 times winning the championship is the proof.

    KKR is one such team that has maximum run contribution made by Indian batsman, unlike SRH that wholly relies on Warner. KKR has more match winners. A teams strength in IPL is the contribution from Indian players, foregin players can win matches on flat decks, but it is Indian players who can win when the wicket is tricky. This is where KKR is powerful. If Russel had played then KKR would have had far better bowling line up than SRH.

    Regarding Fizz, he is not a match winner at all. If SRH scored 20 runs shot then Fizz can make no difference. Just because they had some decent score on board, Fizz was able to contribute. Otherwise he is not worthy to play a foreign bowler spot.

  • Sai on May 26, 2016, 15:10 GMT

    So i am seeing there are people who are not giving enough credit to Bhuvi . agree Fizz is creating presuure . BUT this can go the other way as well, in pressure batsman will try hard to hit and you can go for 20-21 runs in an over which did not happen till now .

    Lets have equal respect for both of them!!!

    FYI Bhuvi figures yesterday ... 4 overs ...19 runs....3 wickets .. with NO wides and NO No-balls ... i dont think it can get any better for next 10 years :)

  • mukesh on May 26, 2016, 15:00 GMT

    @SAM6E excellent analysis. Having core Indian players of :- GG, Robie, Manish, Surya,Yusuf,Chawla ,Umesh, Kuldeep. KKR had a luxury of playing 6 full time bowlers. Next year these 7 Indian players along with Russell is awesome start. Foreign players should be upgraded for sure based on form of Narine , Sakib and Morkel.

  • mukesh on May 26, 2016, 14:37 GMT

    To all Fizz supporters - he is doing his job, Wickets doesn't matter 7 RPO in death overs is unheard . What matters is he is delivering in 17th and 19th over for teams win.

  • Ashoke on May 26, 2016, 13:08 GMT

    Funny games T20. One ball, one over, one shot, one fielding can decide the outcome of the match. Juvraj"s fielding ( runout Gambir) decided the outcome of the match.

  • Shaik Ali on May 26, 2016, 12:06 GMT

    Look at KKR they got the best indian talent in all forms....wk batsman uthappa, indian batsman Gambhir, Pandey, Yadav All rounders : Yusuf, Chawla, Bowlers : Umesh, Kuldeep, Rajpoot ...So 9 players who select themselves without doubt...Get 4 overseas match winners probably big hitters...U have one Russell...Get 3 more (Morris/Brathwaite/Henriques type players who are utility at any position) SRK or KKR team think tank if reading this comment please do not ignore...disappointing to see KKR with such a talented bunch bowing out of the tournament and some minnow teams n new teams going ahead of them

  • ashokk9629238 on May 26, 2016, 11:08 GMT

    IDK why two eliminators have been given to ferozshah kotla? Too many empty seats makes a joke of IPL. Mohali is even worse. Why not let other stadiums organise it. Kanpur and ranchi were amazing.

  • Aninda on May 26, 2016, 10:31 GMT

    SAM6E : Can't agree more with you !!! KKR Should play 4 overseas player allrounders - 1 top class power hitter at the top of the order, 1 spinner all-rounder (SAH), 1 pacer all-rounder (Russel) & 1 top class strike bowler / death bowler. From the local players, KKR should utilise the trading window to buy 1 top class Indian batting talent & 1 top class Indian fast bowling all-rounder talent. Holder, Sathish & SKY are just not good enough. Also, KKR needs to prepare an alternative to GG (Captain), as he fast approaches his sunset years. It is now apparent that Narine is no longer the same as before; KKR can try playing Kuldeep in his place and utilise the overseas slot to play somebody like Stokes / Maxwell (if KXIP release him next yr) instead; will lend more depth & hitting quality to the squad.

  • Aamir Shehzad on May 26, 2016, 10:11 GMT

    I think it is going to be SRH v/s RCB in the finals SRH are almost too good for Gujrat Lions, but we will see how they do against RCB, Warner, Yuvi and Dhawan's form will be important, on flat wicket of Bangalore they are gonna have party, would like to see Yuvi hitting 6, 6s of Jordan ;)

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