Capital punishment for Kolkata
Yuvraj Singh played a brilliant innings before the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers and fielders put on an excellent display to beat Kolkata Knight Riders and take their team into qualifier 2 on Wednesday.
Defending a 163-run target, Hyderabad restricted Kolkata to 140/8 in the eliminator. Hyderabad will meet Gujarat Lions on Friday for a place in the final.
After Yuvraj Singh’s scintillating 30-ball 44 and his 49-run partnership with Deepak Hooda (21) for the fourth-wicket took Hyderabad to 162/8 , their fielders took some excellent diving catches to provide breakthroughs at crucial junctures of the match.
Kolkata lost Robin Uthappa (11) early into their chase as the opener was caught at short extra-cover by Moises Henriques off Barinder Sran. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir (28) and Colin Munro (16) kept the scoreboard ticking with occasional boundaries, but Hyderabad’s pace trio of Sran, Mustafizur Rahman and Bhuvneshwar Kumar did not allow them to open up their arms. They kept the scoring rate under check as the pressure mounted on the Kolkata batsmen.
After adding 38 runs for the second wicket, a wrong call for a quick single by Gambhir resulted in the run-out of Munro. A direct hit by Yuvraj from point found Munro well short of his crease.
Gambhir departed in the 10th over, caught at long-on by substitute Vijay Shankar, who ran in hard from the boundary to complete a diving catch. In the next over, dangerman Yusuf Pathan (2) was brilliantly caught by a diving Bhuvneshwar at deep mid-wicket off Henriques as Kolkata slumped to 69/4.
There was a brief scare for Hyderabad when Manish Pandey (36) and Suryakumar Yadav (23) combined well to put on a 46-run stand for the fifth wicket. It took another brilliant fielding effort by Shikhar Dhawan at deep square leg to complete a diving catch to his left to send back Yadav. Kolkata required 47 runs from 24 balls, but some good death over bowling by Mustafizur and Bhuvneshwar ensured that Kolkata did not run away with the match. Kolkata was hurt by lack of partnerships as none of their batsmen, barring Pandey, Yadav and Gambhir, could contribute significantly. While Bhuvneshwar finished with excellent figures of 3/19, Henriques chipped in with 2/17.
Earlier, Kolkata had invited Hyderabad to bat first after winning the toss. After Dhawan (10) departed early, Henriques and Warner stitched together a 46-ball 59-run partnership for the second wicket to lay the platform for a solid total. The introduction of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav that derailed the Hyderabad innings. He struck twice in his second over, sending back Henriques (31) and Warner (28) off successive deliveries. Yuvraj, however, steadied the innings with a fine knock.