The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) registered a clinical victory as they beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by seven wickets with two overs remaining, riding on a great all-round performance by the bowling as well as the batting unit at the Sheikh Zayed International Circket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Deciding to bowl first after winning the toss, the Sunrisers Hyderabad did not get off to the greatest of starts, but rather started off decently, reaching 62/2 at the end of 10 overs. The KKR bowlers bowled superbly to start with, especially Pat Cummins after a rather forgettable outing against the Mumbai Indians, bowled significantly well in the powerplay against the SRH. Cummins bowled a brilliant first spell of three overs giving away just 11 runs and picking up the all important wicket of the in-form SRH opener Jonny Bairstow(5 of 10) with delightful incoming delivery from a good length hitting the top of Bairstow’s off-stump in the fourth over.
Following Bairstow’s dismissal, skipper David Warner and Manish Pandey played well to see out the rest of the powerplay, before Warner(36) was dismissed caught and bowled by KKR’s new signing, the mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy in the tenth over.
Wriddhiman Saha (30 of 31) playing his first match of the season put up a 62-run-partnership with Manish Pandey for the third wicket, but the partnership, as well the SRH innings lacked that momentum. Manish Pandey looked to accelerate and struck three fours and two sixes in his fighting innings of 51 of 38 deliveries, but it was a lone effort, and once Pandey was dismissed caught and bowled by Andre Russel in the 18th over, the SRH realized that were going nowhere with their innings, as they had managed only a mere 121 with just 14 deliveries left in the innings, but it was too late for the SRH as eventually the managed to put up a below-par total of 142/4 at the end of their 20 overs.
Coming out to chase a pretty low total, KKR lost their first wicket pretty early in the form of Sunil Narine, who was dismissed for a duck in the second over itself by a short delivery from Khaleel Ahmed. This brought Nitish Rana into the middle, who along with the KKR opener Shubhman Gill put up a quickfire 36-run partnership of just 20 deliveries, before Rana was dismissed in the fifth over for 26 of just 13 deliveries. KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik followed Rana without troubling the scorers, as he did not pick up a googly from Rashid Khan and was out lbw.
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Following their skipper’s dismissal, Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan rotated the strike with ease in the middle overs. Shubhman Gill reached his first fifty of the season as he sliced one past point for four in the 13th over. Gill showed supreme levels of temperament, well guided the England skipper Eoin Morgan, as the pair saw off the rest of Rashid’s and Nabi’s spell, without taking any undue risk. As KKR inched closer to victory, Morgan produced some mighty hits, as he ended the 15th over by hitting Bhuvneshwar over the covers for a six and with eight to win of 14 deliveries, Morgan clattered Natarajan for a six over long-on and then a four past the bowler, thus sealing the game for KKR by seven wickets and 12 balls remaining.
Morgan and Gill put up an unbeaten 92-run partnership of just 70 deliveries as they saw their team home with unbeaten scores of 42 off 29 and 70 off 62 respectively.
Shubhman Gill was absolutely pleasant to the eye as always, as he played some textbooks shots in his match-winning knock, and his temperament is once again the talk of the town, as he guided the KKR innings from beginning till the end.
The KKR bowlers did extremely well to restrict the SRH to such a low total, despite the fact that they had wickets in hand. The bowlers bowled some great lines, especially to Warner and Bairstow early on. KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik, did very well to shuffle his bowlers, especially in the middle overs, and he will be pleased with the fact that he had used seven bowlers in the match, and each of them fared well, which will give him a lot of confidence going ahead in the tournament.
Sunrisers Hyderabad -142/4 (20/20 overs)
Manish Pander 51(38)
David Warner 36(30)
Pat Cummins 1/19(4)
Andre Russell 1/16(2)
Kolkata Knight Riders – 145/3(18/20 overs)
Shubhman Gill* 70(62)
Eoin Morgan* 42(29)
Rashid Khan 1/25(4)
T Natarajan 1/27(3)
KKR WON BY 7 wickets
Player of the Match – Shubhman Gill
Dream11 Game Changer of the Match – Subhman Gill
Tata Altroz Super Striker of the Match – Nitish Rana
Unacademy Let’s crack it Sixes – Manish Pamdey
Cred Power Player – Pat Cummins
TODAY’S MATCH – Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab
Venue – Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Toss – 7pm IST
Match Time – 7:30pm IST
Match can be viewed on the Star Sports Network and the Disney + Hotstar VIP subscription
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