Match Report: Eliminator - SRH vs KKR

Bowlers help SRH defend 162 in Eliminator against KKR

Mumbai 26 May 2016
Sunrisers Hyderabad had the last laugh over the Kolkata Knight Riders. SRH had lost to KKR twice in the league season, but in the game that mattered most – in the Eliminator of VIVO IPL 2016 – they came up triumphant. SRH will thank their bowlers for a clinical performance, which saw them restrict KKR – in pursuit of 163 – to 140-8. The 22-run victory means SRH have set up a date with the Gujarat Lions and will now contest in Qualifier 2 on Friday night.

SRH did the basics right in their defense; the bowlers bowled in the right areas and built the pressure, the fielders held on to the catches that came their way and even converted the half-chances to wickets. Yuvraj Singh effected a brilliant run out, after which Bhuvneshwar Kumar and substitute Vijay Shankar held on to difficult catches in the outfield, to help build pressure during KKR’s chase.

Despite losing Robin Uthappa early in the chase, Gautam Gambhir and Colin Munro resurrected KKR’s chase with a steady partnership. When the pair were going about accumulating runs, striking the odd boundary, it appeared KKR were in control of proceedings and would easily overhaul the target. But a risky bit of running, which resulted in the run out of Munro turned the match on its head. Gambhir dabbed the ball to point and took off for a sharp single, not aware that Yuvraj Singh was already swooping in on the ball; Yuvraj picked up the ball and hit the target bull’s eye, while off balance, to catch Munro short of his ground. The score then was 53 for 2 at the end of seven overs; KKR could only add 87 runs in the remaining 13 overs and therefore fell short of the target.

There was only one other partnership for KKR, and that came too late. Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav, who got together in the eleventh over, added 46 runs in five overs to take their team closer. But once Yadav (23 from 15 balls) miscued a short delivery and holed out to the fielder at square-leg, it was almost curtains. Pandey’s dismissal for 36 – in the 18th over – was the final nail in the coffin. KKR finished their twenty overs at 140-8.

For SRH, the bowlers were outstanding yet again – especially at a time when it mattered; the match hung in the balance after 15 overs, when KKR were 110-4 and needed 53 runs. That’s when Henriques, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman stepped up. Bhuvneshwar was the most successful bowler for SRH, returning with figures of 3-19 and taking the Purple Cap for becoming the top wicket-taker of the season, while Henriques (2-17), Cutting and Sran shared the rest of the spoils. A special mention needs to be made of Mustafizur, who was spectacular in the death; the lad from Bangladesh got his yorkers spot on and finished with tidy figures of 0-28.

Earlier in the evening, Sunrisers Hyderabad started cautiously, established momentum through the innings and finished with a flourish. They finished their twenty overs at 162-8; this, despite losing wickets at regular intervals and none of the batsmen going on to post a big score.
After losing Shikhar Dhawan in the second over, SRH got back on track through a 59-run stand between skipper David Warner and Moises Henriques, with the latter being the dominant contributor. However the dismissal of both the well-set batsmen in the tenth over meant SRH had to start all over again; Henriques was dismissed for 31 (21 balls, 1 four & 2 sixes), while Warner made a run-a-ball 28.

Yuvraj Singh chose the day to make his biggest contribution with the bat this season. On a two-paced pitch where the rest of the batsmen struggled, Yuvraj timed the ball beautifully; he hit one six straight over the sightscreen and muscled the ball to the leg-side boundary on several occasions. He made 44 and was involved in a 49-run stand with Deepak Hooda (21 from 13 balls). When the pair were in the middle, SRH appeared to be on course for a total in the region of 180. But Hooda ran himself out (yet again) in the 16th over and Ben Cutting charged out blindly first ball to be stumped by a mile two balls later.

Yuvraj himself was dismissed in the nineteenth over when he walked across to the off side and attempted to improvise, but lost his stumps. Bipul Sharma (14* from 6 balls) hit two sixes in the final over to help his team finish with a flourish. SRH added 64 runs in the final six overs to post 162-8.

For KKR, Kuldeep Yadav was the most successful bowler; the chinaman bowler dismissed Warner and Henrqiues with consecutive deliveries, then added the wicket of Cutting to his tally to finish with figures of 3-35. Morne Morkel dismissed Dhawan upfront and then returned to dismiss Bhuvneshwar Kumar, while Jason Holder accounted for Yuvraj Singh and Naman Ojha. Yusuf Pathan, who began proceedings with the new ball, was the most economical bowler, conceding only 17 runs in the three overs he bowled within the Powerplay overs.

Brief Score

Sunrisers Hyderabad 162-8 in 20.0 Overs (Yuvraj Singh 44, Moises Henriques 31, Kuldeep Yadav 3-35) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 140-8 in 20.0 Overs (Manish Pandey 36, Gautam Gambhir 28, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3-19, Moises Henriques 2-17) by 22 runs.

Man of the Match: Moises Henriques, for his all-round performance.
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