Knight Riders Close In On Play-Offs

Yusuf Pathan played an important innings to help Kolkata beat Hyderabad
Yusuf Pathan played an important innings to help Kolkata beat Hyderabad
©REUTERS / Action Images

Kolkata Knight Riders 146-3 (Uthappa 40) beat
Sunrisers Hyderabad 142-8 by seven wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Hyderabad

The Kolkata Knight Riders held their nerve to beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets and virtually end the home side's chances of reaching the Indian Premier League 2014 play-offs.

Robin Uthappa (40), Yusuf Pathan (39 not out) and Manish Pandey (35) ensured that Hyderabad's score of 142 for eight would not be enough.

Ryan ten Doeschate hit the winning runs as Kolkata made it four wins in a row, putting themselves in a strong position ahead of the final week of group matches, which sees them play their final three matches at home.

With this win, Kolkata consolidated their fourth spot in the table, as they now have 12 points from 11 games (six wins). Hyderabad meanwhile will have to work harder in the last three games if they have any chance of making the knockouts, languishing now at sixth with eight points from 11 games (four wins).

Chasing 143, the Knight Riders were given another rousing start by Uthappa who continued his fine run of form with a well-timed 33-ball 40 runs, including five fours and one six. But their start was hampered with the loss of Gautam Gambhir (6) cheaply and Uthappa rebuilt the innings with the help of Manish Pandey, as they put on 51 runs for the second wicket.

The 50-run mark came in the ninth over after which Uthappa was run-out in the very next over. This meant they had to start all over again, but the batsmen weren’t fussy as Yusuf Pathan got going for once and scored an unbeaten 39 runs off 28 balls, with two fours and two sixes.

He put up a 45-run stand with Pandey who had another impressive outing and scored 35 runs off 32 balls, with three fours and one six.

He was dismissed in the 16th over but by then Kolkata were in cruise mode. It was made easier by ten Doeschate who came in to bat at number five and smacked 25 runs off 15 balls, with two fours and one six, taking his side home with one ball to spare in the end. Dale Steyn (1-24) and Karn Sharma (1-19) took a wicket apiece for Hyderabad.

Earlier Hyderabad won the toss and elected to bat first. They got off to a poor start with Aaron Finch (8) dismissed cheaply and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, free of leadership duties, also couldn’t score many. He was out for 19 runs with the score reading 41/2 in the sixth over.

Naman Ojha was promoted to number three owing to his good run of form and he was joined in by David Warner but they too couldn’t add many runs. The former scored 22 runs off 24 balls, with one four and two sixes. It was once again the combination of Warner and KL Rahul (14) that did the trick for Hyderabad as the duo was united again as the latter came in at number five.

They added 34 runs for the fourth wicket and gave the score some respect taking it close to the 100-run mark before both batsmen fell on either side of the three-digit-figure in successive overs, 13th and 14th. Warner was the topscorer with 34 runs off 18 balls, hitting three sixes and two fours, but his wicket stole away any momentum the Sunrisers might have gained.

It was Irfan Pathan’s 23 not out off 19 balls, with two fours, that helped them up to a respectable score that they could hope to fight for. Umesh Yadav (3-26) was Kolkata’s most successful bowler and he was ably supported by Shakib al Hasan (2-22). Sunil Narine (1-21) and Piyush Chawla (1-24) were the other wicket-takers

© Cricket World 2014