Gautam Gambhir’s side Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by seven wickets in a rain-truncated Indian Premier League Eliminator to enter the Qualifier 2 of the championship, in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Electing to bowl first, Kolkata produced a disciplined bowling and fielding effort to first restrict Hyderabad to a modest 128 for seven and then overpowered the revised target of 48 in six overs with consummate ease. Flattery against Sunrisers wish, the rain subsided and the target was rectified to 48 off six overs after persistent spray soon after Sunrisers' innings stopped the proceedings for more than three hours.
Chasing the target, hard-hitting batsman Chris Lynn got KKR off to a quick start smashing Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a six. But two quick wickets in successive balls changed the complexion of the match.
The Australian batsman edged Bhuvneshwar's next delivery on to wicket-keeper Naman Ojha behind the stumps and then a ball later new man in dynamic Yusuf Pathan was run out by the bowler.
Middle-order batsman Robin Uthappa too didn't last long as he gave simple catch to Shikhar Dhawan at square-leg off seamer Chris Jordan in the second over. But thereafter, captain Gautam Gambhir (32 not out) took the duty on himself to guide his side home in the company of 28-year-old Ishant Jaggi (5 not out).
KKR overpowered the target with four balls to spare. For Hyderabad, Jordan (1/9) and Bhuvneshwar (1/11) picked up a wicket each. KKR will now face against Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2 on Friday.
In the begining, KKR produced a disciplined bowling and fielding effort to restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to a modest 128 for seven. Returning to the side after an injury lay-off, pace bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile (3/20) impressed with the ball. He was ably supported by Indian seamer Umesh Yadav (2/21).