Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, KKR vs SRH
Rashid Khan’s all-round show helped SRH to turn the tables against KKR © IANS

Carlos Brathwaite needed to score 19 off the final over in the World T20 2016 final at Eden Gardens. At the same venue, a little over later, he was asked to defend 19 off the final over at the same ground. At stake was the IPL 2018 final berth. Of course, he responded to the call — again. 

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had not done much wrong in Qualifier 2 at Eden Gardens. They just could not get past Rashid Khan. Rashid ‘s all-round brilliance powered Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to their second IPL 2018 final. Chasing 175, KKR, who were cruising at one stage, fell short by 13. Rashid, who had smacked a 10-ball 34 not out, claimed figures of 4-0-19-3, bagging the wickets of Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn and Andre Russell. He took 2 catches in the final over and ran Nitish Rana out.

KKR immediately got the upper hand in the chase courtesy Lynn and Sunil Narine. They raced to 38 in 3 overs, 20 runs more than what SRH were at that stage. Narine belted 3 fours and a six in the third over of the innings, from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He mistimed a loft off Siddarth Kaul to lose his wicket the next over, but by then he had done his job slamming 26 off just 13 balls.

Khaleel Ahmed, the 20-year-old left-arm pacer who replaced Sandeep Sharma, clocked serious pace but his inexperience cost SRH. Rana, coming in at No. 3 ahead of Uthappa, used Khaleel’s pace to strike him for 2 sixes in the fifth over. Lynn welcomed Kaul in the next over with a 85-metre six over long-off.

Lynn, who had played the role of a passive opener for quite a few matches, was allowed to break free. Why allowed? He has struggled to score against spin this season, his strike rate being less than hundred. KKR raced to 67 for 1 after the Powerplay overs, the highest against SRH this season.

Rashid, introduced immediately, he almost struck off the first ball. SRH reviewed the first ball from Rashid to what looked like a close LBW shout. Replays showed that Lynn had got a glove and Wriddhiman Saha failed to grab it.

Rana looked good during his brief stay and executed a reverse sweep against Shakib Al Hasan quite well. He was run out next ball, going for a non-existent second run after slipping at the non striker’s end.

KKR were 93 for 2 in 10 overs where the implosion began. Uthappa perished, trying to reverse sweep Rashid. Dinesh Karthik rocked back to Rashid and bisected long-on and deep mid-wicket for four. Then he perished, trying to cut Shakib. Two balls later Lynn was trapped leg before by Rashid.

(Note: Earlier this year, Karthik had demolished the Shakib-led Bangladeshi bowling attack to help India win the Nidahas Trophy Final)

Russell got a reprieve when Saha dropped him off Shakib, but he could not make use of the life and departed the following over to Rashid, handing him his third wicket. Trying to cut, he got a thick edge to slip, where Williamson had Shikhar Dhawan stationed, further from the bat than usual. KKR had scored 4 for 25 in 5 overs.

With the required rate mounting, Shubman Gill and Piyush Chawla had the tough job to negate the likes of Bhuvi and Kaul. Kaul sealed the fate of the game by cleaning up Chawla when the equation was 30 off 12.

KKR’s hopes were pinned on Gill till the final over but with the propelling required rate and fall of wickets, the match had slipped. With 15 to score from the last 5, Shivam Mavi and Gill both perished, trying to clear the mid-wicket fence.

Earlier, KKR had put SRH into bat. SRH made three changes. The in-form Shreevats Goswami, a local lad, made way for another local, Saha. SRH also dropped Manish Pandey and Sandeep Sharma in favour of Deepak Hooda and IPL debutant Khaleel Ahmed. Kolkata went ahead with only three foreign players, replacing Javon Searles with Mavi, which made sense.

 

KKR started with bowling tight lengths. Saha and Dhawan looked good for a while before KKR spinners Narine (4-0-24-1), Kuldeep Yadav (4-0-29-2) and Chawla (3-0-22-1) did exceptionally to have SRH reeling at 138 for 7 in the 18th over. Then the Rashid show began. The rest of the innings went .6..64146wide26. Rashid struck 4 sixes and Prasidh Krishna, who had bowled so well at the death throughout the tournament, finished with 4-0-56-0.

 

In a re-match of Qualifier 1, SRH will face Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Sunday.

More on first innings

Brief scores

Sunrisers Hyderabad 174 for 7 in 20 overs [Wriddhiman Saha 35 (27), Shikhar Dhawan 34 (24), Rashid Khan 34 (10)*; Kuldeep Yadav 4-0-29-2] beat Kolkata Knight Riders 161 for 9 in 20 overs [Chris Lynn 48 (31), Shubman Gill 30 (20); Siddarth Kaul 4-0-32-2, Rashid Khan 4-0-19-3, Carlos Brathwaite 2-0-16-2] by 13 runs.

Man of the Match: Rashid Khan.

Full Scoreboard