Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers maintained a tight leash before Shubman Gill steered the chase to help his team register a six-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dubai International Stadium here on Sunday. With the win, Kolkata now have 12 points from 13 matches and remain in contention for the last spot in the playoffs stage.
It wasn’t a straightforward chase of 116 for Kolkata, who were watchful in their first four overs. Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi fell cheaply in the first ten overs. But Shubman Gill displayed a subtle shift in gears to make up for the slowness in the scoring rate. Sedate till the last ball of eleventh over, Gill hit Kolkata’s first boundary after power-play by coming down the pitch and hitting through mid-wicket off Khan.
He then pulled Holder twice through mid-wicket in the next over. Debutant Umran Malik, who impressed with his searing pace, was hit for back-to-back boundaries through square leg and mid-wicket. Gill hit five boundaries in seven balls to ease tension in Kolkata camp. Nitish Rana, who found it hard to come to terms with Malik’s pace, struck his first boundary by reverse-sweeping Khan.
Gill reached his maiden half-century in IPL 2021 with a pull through mid-wicket off Malik. The 55-run partnership between Gill and Rana was broken by Siddarth Kaul in the 17th over, with Gill mistiming a flick to long-on. Dinesh Karthik nailed an off-drive on his first ball from Kaul.
Rana pulled Holder through mid-wicket in the next over before a top-edge on the pull was pouched by keeper Wriddhiman Saha. Karthik slapped through point off Kumar in the 19th over before finishing off the chase with a fierce pull through deep mid-wicket off Kaul.
Earlier, opting to bat first, Hyderabad had a bad start with Wriddhiman Saha trapped in front of the wicket by Tim Southee on second ball of the innings. Jason Roy never looked to be settled at the crease and mishit to mid-on off Shivam Mavi in the fourth over.
Kane Williamson crunched Mavi for four fours in the last over of power-play. But his promising stay at the crease was cut short in a huge misjudgement for a tight single towards short mid-wicket. Shakib Al Hasan ran to collect the ball and fired a direct hit to catch Williamson short of the crease at the non-striker’s end.
Abhishek Sharma, in a bid to break the dry run, charged down the pitch to hit over leg-side. But he couldn’t connect with the ball from Shakib and was easily stumped. Priyam Garg had a six but a top-edge on slog-sweep landed in deep mid-wicket’s hands off Varun Chakravarthy. The leg-spinner had his second wicket in his next over as Jason Holder miscued to long-off.
Abdul Samad made a quickfire 25 laced with three sixes before holing out to long-on off Southee. Rashid Khan hit a boundary through covers off Mavi to take Hyderabad past 100. On the next ball, Mavi had his man as Khan mistimed to long-on. Siddarth Kaul got a boundary on the last ball, which wasn’t enough for Hyderabad to avoid their 10th loss of the tournament.
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 115/8 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 26, Abdul Samad 25, Varun Chakravarthy 2/25, Tim Southee 2/26) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 119/4 in 19.4 overs (Shubman Gill 57, Nitish Rana 25, Jason Holder 2/32, Siddarth Kaul 1/17) by six wickets.