Image courtesy of: NDTV
The Kolkata Knight Riders registered their fourth consecutive victory after comfortably beating the Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets in front of their own fans.
Newly appointed Hyderabad captain Darren Sammy would have been brooding over his decision to bat first early on after Aaron Finch was caught by Morne Morkel at third man off the bowling of Umesh Yadav for eight runs.
Sammy’s predecessor Shikhar Dhawan only made 19 runs before he was caught by Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir at square leg off the bowling of Sunil Narine.
Naman Ojha managed to score 22 runs before he was caught by Yusuf Pathan at backward point off the bowling of Shakib Al Hasan.
Lokesh Rahul scored 14 runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Piyush Chawla.
Australia batsman made a quickfire 34 before he was caught by Pathan at midwicket off the bowling of Yadav.
Sammy failed to save his team as he was caught by Manish Pandey at long-off off the bowling of Al Hasan for just seven runs.
Karn Sharma fared no better as he was run out by Pathan for four runs.
Steyn only made one run before he was clean bowled to become Yadav’s third victim of the match.
Hyderabad eventually finished on 142/8 off their 20 overs.
Yadav was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Al Hasan snapped up two wickets and Narine and Chawla chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 143 to win, Kolkata got off to a horrible start as Gambhir was caught behind off the bowling of Steyn for only six runs.
Robin Uthappa and Pandey made up for the early loss of Gambhir with a 51-run partnership before Uthappa was run out by Sammy for 40 off 33 balls, which included five boundaries and a six.
Pandey ended up making 35 before he was caught by Finch at long-on off the bowling of Sharma.
Pathan and Ryan ten Doeschate amassed an unbeaten 42-run partnership to lead Kolkata home with two balls to spare.
Pathan finished on 39 off 28 balls, which included two boundaries and two sixes, while ten Doeschate remained undefeated on 25 off 15 deliveries, which included two boundaries and a six.
Steyn and Sharma claimed one wicket each.
Sammy was not impressed with his team’s performance, and said: “The dot balls at the end (of our innings) cost us. The bowlers fought back to make a game out of it. We know that catches win matches, we dropped two crucial ones today. Different conditions from last year (in Hyderabad) but we have had some good games. We have not capitalised on key moments. It is not over, we have to win all three and hope some results go in our favour.”
Gambhir was ecstatic to have won four games in a row, and said: “I would not have reacted that way had I nicked it. Just happened in the heat of the moment. It was a big game for us. Happy with the way the rest of the guys batted. [I] Want to give credit to the bowlers on such a wicket. Looking at the wicket, playing three spinners, we were looking at chasing 160-odd. The three spinners bowled brilliantly to restrict them.”
Yadav was named Man of the Match, and said: “I am very happy with my bowling and that we have won. I stuck to my plan, I have been working hard, my rhythm came back. I have been working on [the] basics. It was a good wicket, there was bounce, swing, I was enjoying bowling on it.”