Putting up an all-round show, Kolkata Knight Riders consolidated their fourth position in the points table with a comfortable seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL match, in Hyderabad on Sunday.
None of the Hyderabad batsmen could play an innings of substance as the hosts settled for a modest 142 for eight after electing to bat.
They paid the price of not building partnerships on a wicket that had bounce but still offered plenty to batsmen.
David Warner was the top scorer for SRH, smashing his way to 18 ball 34. Had it not been for some small contributions from Naman Ojha (22) and Irfan Pathan (23 not out), SRH would have struggled to get close to 150-run mark.
KKR easily knocked off the target with two balls to spare as veteran batsman Yusuf Pathan anchored the chase with an unbeaten 39-knock, which had two fours and as many sixes.
Pathan’s 45-run stand for the third wicket with Manish Pandey (35) was crucial as it came in a quick time and when KKR did not have much runs on the board.
Pandey was dismissed when he tried to accelerate more but Pathan ensured that he stayed till the end to see the side home. He hit Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a six at the start of the 18th over and eventually took 14 runs.
Steyn conceded just six runs in the penultimate over, leaving KKR to score 10 runs from the last. Ryan ten Doeschate’s (25 not out) six in the second ball ended all SRH’s hopes of a miraculous win.
KKR remain in fourth position but have taken their tally to 12 points while SRH remained in sixth with eight points.
When Gautam Gambhir was given caught behind despite not nicking Dale Steyn, it was not the start KKR were looking at.
And when Steyn deserved a wicket, he did not get it as Shikhar Dhawan failed to latch on to a mis-hit from Robin Uthappa. The KKR batsman added salt to the wound by flicking the next ball from the tearaway paceman for a six.
Nevertheless, SRH bowlers were well in control, allowing the hosts to score only 30 runs in six overs. Uthappa was trying too hard but was not getting his timing.
SRH bowlers kept tightening the noose as boundaries almost dried up as KKR managed only 60 runs at half-way mark.
They had wickets in hand and that was a big advantage.
Yusuf Pathan cut his brother Irfan for a boundary and Manish Pandey opened his arms by creaming off Amit Mishra for a two fours and a six, providing the innings much-needed impetus.
Pandey was dismissed by Karn Sharma but Doeschate supported Pathan well, sharing a 42-run stand.
Earlier, KKR bowlers, specially the spinners were disciplined and skipper Guatam Gambhir rotated them brilliantly. Paceman Umesh Yadav (3/26) and left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan (2/22) continued…