IPL: KKR bowlers keep runs in check as Sunrisers post 172/9

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Hyderabad, May 19 (IANS) Shikhar Dhawan cracked a fifty but Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowlers pulled things back in the middle overs to restrict table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to 172/9 in 20 overs in a crunch Indian Premier League (IPL) game at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Saturday.

Electing to bat, in-form Dhawan (50 from 39 balls; 5×4, 1×6), who missed out in SRH’s last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), was dropped on 45 by Sunil Narine off Javon Searles.

Besides Dhawan, Shreevats Goswami (35; 26b; 4×4, 1×6), skipper Kane Williamson (36; 17b; 1×4, 3×6) and Manish Pandey (25; 22b; 2×4, 1×6) also contributed with the bat.

Sunrisers, who were 60/0 after six overs, lost wickets at regular intervals as little-known M.Prasidh Krishna (4/30) starred with the ball for the visitors taking three wickets in the last over while Andre Russell (1/31) gave away just seven in the penultimate over while also picking up a wicket.

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Kuldeep Yadav (1/35), Sunil Narine (1/23) and Javon Searles (1/24) were all among wickets.

In the last 10 overs, Sunrisers could only manage 80, losing eight wickets after they were 92/1 at the halfway stage.

The hosts got off to a flying start with wicketkeeper-batsman Goswami (35; 26b; 4×4, 1×6) and Dhawan stitching together a 79-run stand for the opening wicket.

Goswami, playing his fourth game of the season but batting for the first time, was given out in the third over when a Russell bouncer rocketed off the helmet and was taken at slip.

Goswami asked for a review straightaway and replays and the decision was overturned.

In the next four balls, Goswami hit Russell for a six and a hattrick of boundaries taking 20 runs off the over.

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In-form Kuldeep, who grabbed a career-best 4/20 in KKR’s previous game, removed Goswami to break the partnership and halt Sunrisers’ surge after they were 60/0 in the Powerplay.

Skipper Williamson then joined the party and looked to be continuing from where he had left in the last game by combining with Dhawan for a 48-run second wicket stand before trying to cut a Searles back of a length delivery and finding Russell at deep point.

It was an eventful over where Narine dropped Dhawan and Williamson tonked Searles for back-to-back sixes before getting out.

From there on, Pandey tried to score big but some disciplined death bowling by KKR bowlers put a lid on his plans.

Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 172/9 (Shikhar Dhawan 50; Prasidh Krishna 4/30) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.

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