Parthiv Patel - 47 from 37 balls
Parthiv Patel's impressive 47 from 37 balls helped Hyderabad beat defending champions Kolkata by five wickets to clinch the final playoff spot in their debut season.
Hyderabad's openers Shikhar Dhawan and Patel got their side off to a solid start in their 131-run quest for a berth in the playoffs. Patel took on the Kolkata attack at the start and smacked Pradeep Sangwan for two consecutive fours in the second over. He was particularly ruthless when the bowlers offered him width. He outshone his partner, Dhawan, in the initial overs and smacked the first six-boundaries of the innings.
Patel thwarted Kolkata's ploy to open with spinners. He mixed caution with aggression and stepped on the gas as the run rate dipped. The lefthander smacked Yousuf Pathan for two straight sixes in the sixth over. Dhawan followed Patel's cue and hit his first boundary in the same over.
Patel played second fiddle after Dhawan found his feet. With 42 needed from 51 balls, a Hyderabad win seemed secure. But Dhawan and Patel fell in quick succession.
After their departure, Hyderabad's batsmen struggled to keep pace and lost three wickets in four overs. The hosts suddenly needed 19 of 13 balls to win. Darren Sammy then counter attacked and lofted Iqbal Abdulla for two sixes off successive deliveries to seal the win.
"We had planned to go out and play positive cricket from the start," Patel said after winning the Man-of-the-Match award. "We've been practicing here a lot and we know this wicket well. But there were a few nervous cricketers in the dugout in the end."
"I think it's a great achievement for a team like ours. We don't have many superstars in the side. A lot of credit goes to our coaching staff and mentors."
Hyderabad's captain Cameron White said the opening-stand was crucial. "The two up-front set the game up for us and allowed us to scrape over the line."
"We've got nothing to lose now. At the start we were considered underdogs but we have shown that we are a difficult team to beat. It's Rajasthan now and we'll give it our all and hopefully we'll win again."
Virat Kohli - 56 from 29 balls
Virat Kohli's blistering 56 from 29 balls helped Bangalore beat Chennai by 24 runs in a rain-curtailed match played in Bangalore on Saturday.
Kohli, who won the toss and elected to bat in the eight-over-a-side contest, made his intentions clear from the start and targeted offspinner R Ashwin. He hit the offspinner for a four in the first over and then launched him for a six and two fours in the third.
Kohli, who promoted himself in place of Cheteshwar Pujara to get quick runs at the top, continued his relentless onslaught and clobbered Chris Morris for a six and a four in the fourth over.
Chris Gayle took charge in the fifth over and dispatched Jason Holder for three-consecutive sixes but he fell an over-later. AB de Villiers followed soon after but Bangalore looked good for a sizable total at that stage.
Moises Henriques announced his arrival, in the seventh over, with three resounding boundaries. Kohli saved his best for the last over and slapped Dwayne Bravo for two sixes and a four to help his side post a formidable 106 in their innings.
Chennai couldn't replicate the fireworks that Bangalore produced. They lost wickets regularly and managed just 82 in reply.
"I'm really pleased we could go out and play. It didn't matter if it was eight overs or 20 overs," Kohli said. "Me and Chris decided to give ourselves four or five balls initially and then go for the big shots. We got 106 which was very good on this wicket."
Chennai's captain MS Dhoni said that a good all-round performance helped Bangalore win. "It was a tough target for us. Their bowlers bowled really well after Virat and Gayle batted well."
"There's plenty that we need to do but the good thing is our middle-order has been tested and there's no good reason why we would not do well in the playoffs."