Kolkata Knight Riders survived rain and nerves as they avenged their IPL 2016 eliminator loss by knocking out defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad at the M.Chinnaswamy stadium, Bengaluru. The two-time champions won the rain-truncated match by 7 wickets to enter the Qualifier 2 of IPL 2017.
They will now play against Mumbai Indians as the winner is set to meet Rising Pune Supergiant in the tournament finale. A disciplined bowling performance by Knight Riders was instrumental in their victory. Both the fast bowlers and the spinners choked Sunrisers batsmen for runs while taking wickets at crucial intervals.
Nathan Coulter-Nile and Umesh Yadav were the pick of the bowlers for Gambhir’s team and shared five wickets amongst them while conceding a paltry 41 runs. Trent Boult and the spinners Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla too played the supporting role well as they kept the Hyderabad batsmen under pressure throughout the match.The pitch was sluggish and the Hyderabad batsmen, dented with early blows, failed to adapt to the scenario.
As a result, they could score only 128 runs for the loss of 7 wickets as the innings failed to gain momentum.Rain played spoilsport and the Kolkata Knight Riders were given a target of 48 runs off six overs as per Duckworth-Lewis rule.
Gautam Gambhir led the chase for them as they lost 3 top order wickets quickly. The captain’s 32 runs set up the victory for the team from the eastern part of the country in 5.2 overs.
Gambhir credited his bowlers’ superb line and use of variations for restricting the famed Hyderabad batting line up for a modest score.He, however was a little disappointed with the batting effort while chasing the paltry revised target.
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"We should have been more sensible with the batting, though," Gambhir said. Sunrisers skipper David Warner felt that they were 30 runs short of what would have been a defendable score on this wicket.