Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 13 runs in the second qualifier of the 2018 VIVO Indian Premier League on at Eden Gardens on Friday (May 25) night. Rashid Khan's all-round effort helped SRH make a comeback in both their innings, who defended their total of 174 for 7 by restricting KKR to 161 for 9 in 20 overs.
Dinesh Karthik, winning the toss, asked SRH to bat first. Kane Williamson admitted that his side too would have liked to bowl first had the coin landed in their favour, given the conditions in Kolkata.
The bowlers complimented Karthik's decision right from the start, not allowing Shikhar Dhawan and Wriddhiman Saha to score freely in the first few overs. Shivam Mavi and PRasidh Krishna stuck to a tight line, and Andre Russell and Sunil Narine chipped in with a couple of neat overs to keep the score to 45 without loss at the end of the powerplay.
The pressure, however, gave Kuldeep Yadav the perfect platform to pounce upon the batsmen. The chinaman bowler bagged two wickets - of Dhawan (34 off 24) and Williamson (3 off 3) - in his first over to rattle SRH early on.
A couple of overs later, Piyush Chawla got rid of Saha (35 off 27) to make it 84 for 3 in the 11th over.
Wickets kept tumbling from then on, with Deeepak Hooda (19 off 19), Shakib Al Hasan (28 off 24), Yusuf Pathan (3 off 7) and Carlos Brathwaite (8 off 4) unable to up the ante.
It was Rashid Khan's cameo at the end which shored up SRH, taking them to a competitive total courtesy his blitzkrieg.
Rashid smashed 34 off just 10 balls, his knock studded with four sixes and two fours.
At the halfway mark, SRH suddenly had their tails up. It was up to Lynn and Narine, the openers, to shift the momentum back towards KKR, and they did that in style.
The duo smashed the bowlers around the park to give KKR just the kind of start they would have liked, and sent ripples across the stands at Eden Gardens.
Narine plummeted 26 runs off just 13 balls, hitting four boundaries and a six along the way. He took on Khalil Ahmed, the debutant, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in particular.
Once Narine departed, Nitish Rana and Lynn kept chipping away at the target with a stable partnership.
It was only in the ninth over when Nitish was dismissed, run out via a mixup between him and Lynn, that SRH got a sniff of a comeback.
Robin Uthappa (2 off 8) and Karthik (8 off 6) fell in quick succession, and the scorecard suddenly read 108 for 4. It was Rashid and Shakib doing the damage with their spin, and even Lynn, who was playing with great ease till that point, lost his wicket to Rashid, who trapped him lbw for 48 off 31 balls.
It was upto Shubman Gill and Andre Russell to carry the chase forward from there, but Rashid returned to dismiss the latter for 3 off 7 balls and put SRH in firm control of proceedings.
Gill was then joined by Piyush Chawla, and the duo kept KKR's hopes alive by dragging them to 132 for 6 in 16 overs. The equation read 43 needed off 24 balls, and it was going to be a real test of character to see their side through from there.
While Shubman stayed put at one end, Chawla hit 12 at run a ball, before being bowled by Siddharth Kaul in the first ball of the penultimate over. Kaul bowled well in that over but Shubman smashed a six over long off to keep KKR alive in the chase.
19 runs were needed in the final over, and Williamson brought on Brathwaite to bowl. Mavi sent the first ball to the fence, but perished trying to repeat the feat the next ball. With 15 needed off the last four, the onus was upon Shubman, but the youngster too, was caught at the same position the next ball.
With 15 needed off the last three balls, it was always going to be a tough ask for the last pair of Kuldeep Yadav and Prasidh Krishna. Brathwaite ended the over well, not giving the opposition any chance of returning back to the game.