As we are inching closer to the playoffs, every match is crucial for the teams stuck in the mid-squabbles. For Sunrisers Hyderabad, it was not a very good season as after this defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders, they have lost their chances of making it to the playoffs with just two wins from 12 matches.
In the 49th match of VIVO IPL 2021, Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets and two balls to spare. They managed to restrict SRH to 115/8 and then chased down the target in 19.4 overs for their sixth win of the season. Dinesh Kartik sealed the match with a thump over mid-wicket.
Kolkata Knight Riders kept it going well in the field thanks to their incredible bowling performance that took them to 12 points in the IPL points table with one game left in the league matches. Even though their Net Run Rate did not jump much, they already have the best NRR among all the other teams competing for fourth place.
SRH won the toss, and Kolkata Knight Riders started playing it tight right from the start. Tim Southee set the ball rolling and dismissed Wriddhiman Saha on the second ball. Following the fallen wicket in the first over, Shivam Mavi took another toll on the Sunrisers by striking out Jason Roy in the fourth over that landed Sunrisers at 17/2 in five overs.
Williamson scoring a sharp 26 with four boundaries gave Sunrisers some hope. But Shakib Al Hasan did not let his last for long and put an end to his innings by a direct hit. After dismissing Williamson, Shakib had the better of Abhishek Sharma in the 11th over. He showcased a fantastic play in his first game of the second leg and made a mark in his very first over with his athleticism. That fall of wicket left Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma for the fields.
Things continued to go downhill as Varun Chakravarthy dismissed Priyam Garg for 21 in the 15th over, and the players continued to chip away, which then limited SRH to 115/8.
The opening pair of KKR tried to cash in every scoring opportunity with Shubhman Gill and Nitish Rana, but Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Jason Holder did exceedingly well in keeping the batsmen on the leash, and KKR seemed to be crawling to add nine off 25 balls at one stage.
Shubhman Gill then changed the gears and swung in two boundaries in the 12th over off Holder. This was the start of the turnaround where Gill pulled the trigger by taking the attack on the opposition. He then went on completing a half-century in the 15th over followed by a half-century stand in the 16th over with Rana, and the score stood 82/2.
Later, Siddarth Kaul dismissed Gill for 57, and Holder dismissed Rana, but KKR had the game under their control by that time.
Dinesh Kartik with Eoin Morgan took control of the field and took the team home, with Dinesh Kartik completing his 4000 IPL runs.
After this win, another win from Kolkata Knight Riders will do it for them. As far as Sunrisers Hyderabad is concerned, they do have two more games as they seek to bow out with a couple of wins in their hats.
Shubhman Gill was awarded as the player of the match for his fantastic hold of the game when there was a need.
Shubman Gill (Player of the Match)
“For us it was really important to keep wickets in hand. When the balls and the runs were closer to each other we had to go for it and that was the talk during the timeout. You see the wicket and tend to have your matchup. It wasn’t easy to hit the spinners on that wicket. I was targeting the shorter side of the boundary and they were bowling length balls and the leg-side was the shorter side. I didn’t have too many runs under my belt and in a low-scoring match one bad shot can make it tough with the new batter coming in. Playing with my wrists came to me naturally growing up. On a slow wicket without much pace, facing a pacer bowling at 140 clicks is probably the matchup you look at and that’s what I did.”
Eoin Morgan (Kolkata Knight Riders Captain)
“It was a scrap. The wicket played slower than we thought it would. Yes, it swings early in the Powerplay but that’s expected here in Dubai. But I thought it was sluggish if anything. We had to adapt well and I thought we did that really well. Good chase, I thought Shubman batted really well. The strength and depth in our squad to call upon someone like Shakib is a huge luxury to have and he was excellent. We’ve had our group initially assuming that we would be playing in India and now we’ve had to move again after half the tournament in India. We have a reasonable composition aside. We are firmly focused on playing each game at a time. The guys are standing up and making important contributions. Hopefully, we can make it happen on Thursday. Playing on a slower wicket is a challenge in itself and it should continue to slow down going forward.”
Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad Captain)
“We could have got 150 runs to try and strangle the game. Tough work with the ball game going deep. The batting unit needs to try and identify a good score without going too hard. We have been working hard but it hasn’t been paying off. Maybe pushing too hard. When something like this happens, you go back to the drawing board. When we got to the last three overs with the bat, we wanted to have a crack at it. In hindsight, more partnerships. The surface has acted a little differently each time. That’s part and parcel of the game. We need to identify it quickly and work out a total.”
This game is proof that the Knight Riders are in for the long haul. Let’s see what today’s match between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings has in store for us.
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