Kolkata Knight Riders 172 for 6 (Uthappa 68, Pandey 46, Bhuvneshwar 3-20) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 155 for 6 (Warner 26, Yuvraj 26, Narine 1-18, Kuldeep 1-23) by 17 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
In an error-strewn match, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav bowled equally immaculate spells, but it was Kolkata Knight Riders who came away with their third win of the season and moved to the top of the points table.
Robin Uthappa nicked his first ball to the keeper, but umpire Anil Dandekar did not spot it. Uthappa continued to lead a charmed life and struck 68 off 39 balls, which formed the crux of KKR's 172 for 6. They could have got more had Bhuvneshwar not nailed his lengths. For the 11th time in an IPL match, Bhuvneshwar went for a run-a-ball or less from his four overs, all bowled in the Powerplay or the last five overs. He finished with 3 for 20, but it was not enough for Sunrisers.
David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan sauntered to 45 for 0 in the Powerplay, but Kuldeep's dismissal of Warner derailed the chase. They lost 6 for 83, and eventually their second successive match.
Brought down to earth
On Thursday, Sunil Narine and Gautam Gambhir ran up 76 in in 34 balls, taking KKR to their best Powerplay score. They were also helped by some lacklustre bowling from Kings XI's seamers, who kept feeding Narine with hip-high balls, which he comfortably swatted away, taking 23 off his 37 runs through the leg side. At the other end, they kept offering Gambhir width.
Narine usually camps back in his crease, which means the perfect ball to him is a yorker. Kings XI did not bowl a single yorker to him, but Bhuvneshwar bowled one in his second over and scythed through the defences of Narine. Gambhir again went after anything that was remotely full and outside off. Then, in Rashid Khan's first over, he was bowled, attempting to cut a non-turning legbreak, and KKR were kept to their first sub-50 score in the Powerplay this season.
Uthappa, Pandey cash in
Uthappa thickly edged his first ball to the keeper but got away. Dhawan then missed a direct hit when Uthappa was on 15. Uthappa went on to bring up a fifty off 27 balls. It wasn't wild slogging. He read Rashid's googlies and lined up the short balls that sat up on a surface that was drier than the one used for the Kings XI game. Uthappa took Rashid for 21 runs in 12 balls, the most any batsman has scored off him in this IPL.
Pandey could have been dismissed for 8 had Naman Ojha not missed a stumping chance off left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma. Pandey was on 26 off 26 balls, including two fours, at one point, but hit three boundaries off his next five balls.
Staying alive at the death
In the previous season, Bhuvneshwar had picked up 13 wickets in 162 balls in the death overs - the joint highest with Shane Watson. After bowling two overs in the Powerplay, he returned to the attack in the 18th over and nabbed Pandey with a slower offcutter. In his next over, Bhuvneshwar cleaned up Colin Grandhomme with an inswinging yorker.
Kuldeep turns it around
Warner and Dhawan punished width, and hit a collective eight fours in the Powerplay. The introduction of Kuldeep, however, applied the brakes on the chase.
Kuldeep had harried Sunrisers last season, collecting 3 for 35 in the Eliminator. So, it wasn't really surprising that he was picked ahead of Piyush Chawla for this game. Warner, however, was surprised by Kuldeep's dip and turn. He managed only 7 off 13 balls against Kuldeep before skying a catch to long-off. Chris Woakes backed that up by removing Moises Henriques in the next over.
When Yuvraj Singh fell, Sunrisers needed 61 off 31 balls. It was too tall a task, and KKR secured their fifth win in as many matches against Sunrisers at Eden Gardens.