Yusuf Pathan steered the run-chase calmly © PTI (File photo)
Yusuf Pathan steered the run-chase calmly © PTI (File photo)


By Nishad Pai Vaidya


May 18, 2014


Kolkata Knight Riders moved a step closer to secure a berth in the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 with a seven-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. The Kolkata bowlers did a splendid job to restrict Hyderabad to 142 on a batting beauty. Kolkata then got home in the last over, but through the chase they were the favourites.


There is a set pattern to Kolkata’s victories. At first, their spinners break the opposition’s momentum and do not let them score big and then their openers come good and setup the game. This time it was more or less the same with the bowlers putting in an even better performance once Hyderabad elected to bat. The early surprise was that Darren Sammy had replaced Shikhar Dhawan as the captain of the Hyderabad team.


Hyderabad had their moments and were going at a good rate. But, none of the batsmen could convert their starts. With the pressure of captaincy off his shoulders, Dhawan looked in good touch but dried one shot too many and was dismissed on 19. All batsmen got starts as Naman Ojha got 22 and KL Rahul scored 14, but none could convert them into big ones. At the half-way stage they were 84 for three, but it all went awry from there.


David Warner looked threatening during his 18 ball 34 but fell when Hyderabad were trying to setup a platform. The credit must go to the Kolkata bowlers for pulling it back. Shakib Al Hasan went for two for 22, Sunil Narine recorded 1 for 21 and Piyush Chawla had one for 24. Thus, in the 11 overs bowled by the spinners, Hyderabad could only score 67. And, Umesh Yadav also contributed with three for 26. Thus, in those 15 overs, only 93 runs were scored. Tells you how Hyderabad were hampered.


The chase started with a bit of drama as Gautam Gambhir fished at one outside the off-stump and the umpire gave him out caught behind off Dale Steyn. Gambhir was clearly unhappy as he stormed off the field full of rage. The ball had clearly missed the outside edge. However, Robin Uthappa then took over and stroked a 33-ball 40. Some of the shots were brilliant. The leg-spinners were carted over cover on a few occasions. Steyn was flicked for a six for a six. However, he did have his stroke of luck as Dhawan dropped a chance in the sixth over when Uthappa skied one to the off-side. He was only on nine then.


Uthappa was dismissed against the run of play when his bat dropped when he put it into the crease in the 10th over. The throw came in and the keeper took the bails off as Uthappa’s bat was in the creae, but he had lost contact with it.


However, Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan continued, calculating their assault and going about it sensibly. Pandey played a few good strokes but when he was dismissed in the 16th over, it did get a big tight. In the end, Pathan and Ryan ten Doeschate saw it through as they took 14 runs off the 17th over.


Pathan had a good day with the bat. He was sensible in rotating the strike and finding the boundaries on the right occasions. In the last over, it got tense as they needed 10, but ten Doeschate then smashed a six through the covers to ensure there were no hiccups. Ten Doeschate finished with 25 off 17 balls.


Brief Scores:


Sunrisers Hyderabad 142 for 8 in 20 overs (David Warner 34; Umesh Yadav 3 for 26, Shakib Al Hasan 2 for 22) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 146 for 3 in 19.4 overs (Robin Uthappa 40, Yusuf Pathan 38*, Ryan ten Doeschate 25*; Dale Steyn 1 for 14, Karn Sharma 1 for 19) by 7 wickets.


Man of the Match: Umesh Yadav.


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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)