IPL 9 Match 8, Review: Gautam Gambhir's dominant knock ensure an easy win for KKR

IPL 9 Match 8, Review: Gautam Gambhir's dominant knock ensure an easy win for KKR

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir during his knock of 90 that led KKR though the chase with absolute ease. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) moved to the second place in the points table after they beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their own backyard by 8 wickets. The Sunrisers, after struggling initially, managed to put up a decent 142/7 with the help of Eoin Morgan’s strokeful half-century. The Kolkata side, in reply, were led by skipper Gautam Gambhir’s wonderful 60-ball 90 runs knock as KKR chased down the target with ease in 18.2 overs.

With a simple target of 143 runs to chase, openers Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir began calmly, batting with controlled aggression. They did not push the accelerator until the eighth over when the KKR reached the fifty-run mark. By the halfway stage of the second innings, the chasing side was comfortably sitting at 72 for no loss. The pair was batting with ease and looked totally commanding, facing no problem whatsoever. Gambhir, the more aggressive one of the pair, soon reached his fifty in the 13th over. But, the moment of happiness was cut short immediately as Uthappa was dismissed in the same over, ending the 92-run stand for the first wicket.

There was another brief moment of joy for SRH after Bangladeshi sensation Mustafizur Rahman clean bowled Andre Russell with a breathtaking yorker. The equation, however, was very simple for the KKR who needed only 31 runs in as many balls. Gambhir soon pushed the accelerator and raced towards the target swiftly, eventually wrapping up the match in the penultimate over with 8 wickets in hand.

Earlier, David Warner decided to bat first on a pitch that looked like a good batting track with even bounce. Morne Morkel began the proceeding for the bowling side and gave a fright to the home fans after he managed to get Warner caught at square leg. However, the skipper was lucky as the umpires did the routine no-ball check and it turned out that Morkel has overstepped, giving a life to the danger man.

But, the KKR unit didn’t have to wait for long as both the SRH openers lost their wicket in back to back overs. Shikhar Dhawan continued his poor run and was dismissed cheaply by Morne Morkel in the 3rd over. Dhawan was unlucky as there was no ‘no-ball’ twist this time and he had to walk back dejected with another poor score to his name.

Skipper Warner wasn’t second time lucky as Umesh Yadav foxed the southpaw with a slower one. Warner misjudged the ball and spooned a simple catch to Surya Kumar Yadav at short cover. The team witnessed further slide as Moises Henriques and Deepak Hooda also departed quickly.

However, things didn’t turn worse for SRH as Eoin Morgan and Naman Ojha stitched on a defining 67-run stand for the 5th wicket. Both scored runs at a quick pace and took the scoreboard to a decent position. They got the boundaries and sixes at regular gaps. The home side finally looked to have some grip over the contest whereas the KKR bowlers struggled to get the better of the duo.

The dominance of the pair was finally brought to an end in the 18th over due to a mind-blowing effort from Andre Russell on the boundary ropes. Russell made an acrobatic effort to reach for the ball and lob it to Chawla at the long on boundary to effect the dismissal.

The last couple of overs added 17 runs to the total for the loss of two more wickets as the Sunrisers reached 142/7 after 20 overs

Brief Scores:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 142/7 in 20 overs (Eoin Morgan 51; Umesh Yadav 3/28)

Kolkata Knight Riders: 146/2 in 18.2 (Gautam Gambhir 90; Ashish Reddy 1/14)

Man of the Match: Gautam Gambhir