IPL 2018: Match 54, SRH vs KKR, Review- Kolkata 'Too Hot and Too Cool' to handle for SRH; roar into playoffs

IPL 2018: Match 54, SRH vs KKR, Review- Kolkata ‘Too Hot and Too Cool’ to handle for SRH; roar into playoffs

Sunrisers slumped to their third consecutive drubbings going into the playoffs.

Chris Lynn
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Chris Lynn in action. (Photo by IANS)

The Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) road ahead, prior to the match, was clear-cut. They needed a victory to officially make their entry into the playoffs of the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL). However, they were up against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) who was expected to be brute force, more so as they were playing at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

The match turned out to be an exciting one, but the Knight Riders managed to stomp home by five wickets. Most importantly, the Men in Gold and Purple secured their berth in the top-four. From the blues, the Orange Army stumbled to their third defeat on the trot. The triumph meant that the Mumbai Indians (MI), Rajasthan Royals (RR) and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will fight for the fourth and the last slot.

KKR bowlers resurrect rusty start

Michael Clarke, during his pitch report, mentioned that the track would get slower as the match progresses. Bearing that in mind, Kane Williamson elected to bat first. Alex Hales was dropped and hence Shreevats Goswami was sent to open along with Shikhar Dhawan. The duo came out all guns blazing and notched a stand of 79 runs off 52 balls, and helped SRH take advantage of the powerplay.

The gamble to open with Goswami worked as he scored 35 runs at a strike-rate of 134.61. He was nipped out by Kuldeep Yadav when the left-hander unsuccessfully attempted to clear long-on. Dhawan, at the other end, looked fluent and kept the scoreboard moving. He was joined by his skipper after Goswami fell. Williamson wasted no time whatsoever and scored 36 runs from 17 balls.

Javon Searles, against the run of play, got rid of him and for a change, he didn’t score a half-century. SRH lost their way thereafter and managed to score only 45 runs from 43 balls. Dhawan racked up his 32nd fifty in 39 balls, but Prasidh Krishna trapped him plumb in front. The dismissal sparked a collapse and the home team lost seven wickets in the last five overs. They were eventually restricted to 172 runs for a loss of nine wickets.

Manish Pandey scored 25 runs with two fours and a six. To his dismay, he perished to a stupendous catch by Rinku Singh who ran in from the boundary and grasped the ball. Meanwhile, Prasidh picked up his second wicket in the last over. He also went on to pick a couple of more wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and Rashid Khan in the same over and finished with his best figures of 4-0-30-4 in the cash-rich league.

Lynn and Uthappa guide KKR to playoffs

Initially, the target seemed a bridge too far on the wicket that was earlier expected to be on the slower side in the second half. Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn commenced the run-chase and signalled their intentions from the word go. Narine was severe on Sandeep Sharma and smacked him for 20 runs from the second over. The duo put KKR into ascendancy with a partnership of 52 runs off 22 runs.

Shakib gave Sunrisers the much-needed breather when Narine hit him downtown and found the safe hands of Manish. Lynn also trod the aggressive route and raced away to a quick start. Robin Uthappa took charge after the fall of Narine’s wicket. The Indo-Australian pair looked comfortable and built a handy partnership of 67 runs off 57 balls and guided the Knight Riders to safer shores.

Uthappa survived a massive scare when he skied Rashid Khan in an attempt to nail a sweep stroke. However, Rashid grassed the opportunity. In the meantime, Lynn compiled a knock of 55 priceless runs off 43 balls. Siddarth Kaul accounted for his scalp after which Dinesh Karthik, the Knights’ skipper took charge. Uthappa made full use of the lifeline early and came on to his own.

The right-hander piled 45 runs from 34 balls and got the Men in Gold and Purple ever so close to the target. Carlos Brathwaite, who had nothing to do thus far in the event apart from warming the benches, dismissed Uthappa in the 17th over to give the home team their third breakthrough. Kaul and Braithwaite got rid of Russell and Nitish Rana respectively, but Karthik’s knock of 26 runs took KKR over the line with two balls to spare.

Brief Scores

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 172/9 in 20 overs; (Shikhar Dhawan 50, Kane Williamson 36; Prasidh Krishna 4/30, Sunil Narine 1/23)

Kolkata Knight Riders: 173/5 in 19.4 overs; (Chris Lynn 55, Robin Uthappa 45; Carlos Braithwaite 2/21, Siddarth Kaul 2/26)

Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by five wickets  

Player of the Match: Chris Lynn