The title holders Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) were defeated by two-time champions, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by seven wickets via the Duckworth-Lewis method to enter Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League, on Thursday at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, in Bengaluru.
KKR opting to bowl first, produced a disciplined bowling and fielding effort to restrict SRH to a modest 128/7 and then overwhelmed the revised target of 48 in six overs with sheer ease. Much against the Sunrisers wish, the rain subsided and the target was revised to 48 off six overs after persistent drizzle soon after Sunrisers innings stopped the proceedings for more than three hours.
Chasing the target, Chris Lynn (7) of KKR, was the first to depart, edging one behind after hitting a six, before Yusuf Pathan returned on a golden duck, following a mix-up with Robin Uthappa (1) at the other end. Uthappa too did not last long as he gave a simple catch to Shikhar Dhawan at square-leg off Chris Jordan in the second over. But thereafter, skipper Gautam Gambhir (32 not out) took the onus on himself to guide his side home in the company of Ishant Jaggi (5 not out).
Gambhir led from the front including two fours and two sixes. It was in the eliminator stage last season that KKR had to bow out to the eventual champions SRH.
Nathan Coulter-Nile was the star for Kolkata Knight Riders as he picked three wickets giving away just 20 runs in his four overs. He was ably supported by Umesh Yadav (2/21). For Sunrisers, Jordan (1/9) and Bhuvneshwar (1/11) picked up a wicket each.
Skipper David Warner (37) and Shikhar Dhawan (11) found it tough against the KKR bowling attack on a slowish and difficult Chinnaswamy pitch. As Dhawan perished in the second delivery of the fifth over, the slow scoring rate finally took a toll on Sunrisers.
The defending champions put up 30 runs at the end of the powerplay before Warner (37) and Williamson (24) started to free their arms. Warner greeted Piyush Chawla with a six in his first over while Williamson picked up a boundary and a six against Nathan Coulter-Nile. The duo put on 50 runs off 45 balls for the second wicket but just when it seemed the two were about to take on the opposition, both Warner and Williamson were dismissed in the space of three deliveries.
Nathan Coulter-Nile then capped off his impressive performance picking up the wickets of Vijay Shankar and Chris Jordan, while giving away just three runs. Boult then gave away just six runs in the last over while picking up the wicket of Naman Ojha as showers came back on during the last couple of deliveries.
It rained heavily for a very long time before coming to a halt but a second spell of showers ensured that KKR would have to chase down a revised target. Rain had played spoilsport at the Chinnaswamy Stadium earlier this season as well with Sunrisers Hyderabad’s tie against Royal Challengers Bangalore getting washed out without a ball being bowled.
Kolkata Knight Riders will now take on Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier on Friday.