Gautam Gambhir won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first in the Eliminator of IPL 2017 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. We made four changes as Manish Pandey, Colin de Grandhomme, Kuldeep Yadav and Ankit Rajpoot made way for Nathan Coulter-Nile, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla and Ishank Jaggi in the starting XI.
Watchful start from SRH:
There was rain prior to the game which had dampened the pitch and David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan made sure they commenced the innings steadily. After 4 overs, they were 25/0 but Umesh Yadav struck soon as he dismissed Dhawan who made 11. But David Warner was the main man, as he was putting the bad balls away and rotating the strike intelligently. Man at the other end, Kane Williamson, got his eye in and then started to play some ‘eye-pleasing’ shots. Gambhir rotated his bowlers, which did not allow the batsmen to get used to a particular bowler. After a stable start in the Powerplay, Warner started playing the big shots and at the end of 10 overs, they were 61/1.
SRH slip in the end:
The Sunrisers lost the momentum after 10 overs as wickets fell at regular intervals. Nathan Coulter-Nile struck on the last ball of the 12th over to dismiss Kane Williamson for 24. Well-set Warner was bowled by Chawla for 37 in the next over as SRH’s score read 75/3 after 12.2 overs. Young Vijay Shankar looked gracious in his shots and tried to steady the ship with veteran, Yuvraj Singh. But Umesh removed Yuvraj for 9. Shankar and Naman Ojha then formed a confident partnership. Coulter-Nile took Shankar (22 off 17 balls), who was looking in good nick, out of the game as Knight Riders breathed a sigh of relief. Coulter-Nile then was on a hat-trick but Ojha denied it only for Chris Jordan (0) to lose his wicket the next ball. Coulter-Nile took a great one-handed catch off his own bowling. Boult gave only 7 runs in the last over as SRH ended on 128/7 in their 20 overs. Due to heavy rain, the covers came on the field as the players went off.
Gambhir guides the team home:
After a rain delay of almost three hours, the match finally started at 12.55 am IST. The target was reduced to 48 off 6 overs. Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn opened the batting for us. But after hitting a six on the second ball, Chris Lynn edged one back to the keeper the next ball. To make matters worse, Yusuf Pathan, who was promoted, was run-out on his first ball. Gambhir brought calmness to the crease and opened his account a four. After first over, we were 11/2. Robin Uthappa played a false short and gave away his wicket. Chris Jordan picked up the important wicket to make things interesting. But again, Gambhir held the fort together, and guided young Ishank Jaggi with himself. At the end of the 3 overs, we were 27/3, needing 21 in the last 3. Siddharth Kaul bowled the fourth over and Gambhir struck a four and six to end the game for SRH, psychologically. Gambhir (32*) and Jaggi (5*) remained unbeaten and we won the match by 7 wickets (DLS) and with 4 balls remaining.