The IPL Eliminator witnessed a rain-marred tie which extended for more than five and half hours but in the end, the Kolkata Knight Riders came out triumphant against the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad to book a place in Qualifier 2 against the Mumbai Indians.
The KKR bowlers were the architect of the win, restricting the SRH score to just 128/7 in 20 overs. After rain threatened for long to end KKR’s chances of progress in the tournament, the revised target was 48 in six overs for the two-time champions. Gambhir’s men lost wickets up front but finally chased it down in 5.2 overs to avenge their last year’s Eliminator defeat against the same opposition.
Here is a look at the Heros and Zeros from the Do-or-Die match:
Making a return after few matches, Aussie Coulter-Nile was instantly back among the wickets. The pick of the KKR bowlers, the quick finished with impressive figures of 3/20 in 4 overs which included the important partnership breaking wicket of Kane Williamson. He went for 13 runs in his second, which means Coulter-Nile conceded only seven off the remaining three. Mixing his pace with aplomb, he literally applied brakes on the Sunrisers innings throughout.
If Coulter-Nile choked the SRH in latter part of the innings, it was Umesh who ensured the defending champions do not get off a blistering start. On a slow pitch, the Indian pace spearhead stuck to a short-pitch length, keeping the opposition batsmen in control. Drawing the first blood, Yadav first dismissed Shikhar Dhawan, before scalping the big wicket of Yuvraj Singh. Bowling three overs in the powerplays, Umesh gave away just 20 runs in his spell of four overs.
Coming in a precarious situation when KKR had already lost three specialist batsmen in the form of Lynn, Uthappa and Pathan, Gambhir kept his cool and played the perfect spoilsport to Hyderabad’s hopes of an improbable win. In at No.5, the skipper ended with a breezy cameo, an unbeaten 32 of 19 balls, laced with two fours and sixes apiece. His 10 runs off 2 balls in Kaul’s over virtually sealed the tie in Knight’s favour.
In the form Dhawan has been so far in this season, the southpaw was expected to come good in this crucial encounter. The opener looked in fluent touch during his brief stay but succumbed to the pressure of failing to get the boundaries. Trying to go over the infield against Umesh, Dhawan could only manage an edge which went sky-high before being gobbled up by Uthappa. Gabbar departed for just 11 from 13 balls scoring just one boundary.
Coming on the back of scores of 0 and 2, Uthappa opened the innings in KKR’s rain-truncated chase against SRH. After destructive Lynn was dismissed in the third ball of the innings, a lot depended on Robin in pursue of the tricky target. Facing his only second ball, the KKR keeper tried to smash Chris Jordan for a maximum. But he failed to make a proper timing and Dhawan faced no difficulty in taking an easy catch at deep mid-wicket. A third consecutive single digit score, Uthappa managed only 1.
Like Coulter-Nile, Yuvraj was making a comeback in the match after missing a couple of games with a finger injury. However, Yuvi failed to match Coulter-Niles’ success and ultimately was a big disappointment. He had the perfect platform to launch in an onslaught, but the southpaw was out for 9 runs, falling prey to Umesh Yadav’s short ball tactics.