Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders completed a brilliant comeback victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad, after Robin Uthappa powered them to a respectable total in the first innings.
KKR got off the blocks slowly, as both the openers Sunil Narine and Gautam Gambhir were removed early on. However, Uthappa put in a steady 77-run partnership with Manish Pandey, to steady the ship for India. The former also went on to score a crucial 68 off 39 balls.
Pandey carried on the onslaught after Uthappa's departure, but fell just four short of his own half-century, as he fell prey to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was the pick of the SRH bowlers, picking up three wickets.
By comparison, SRH made a great start, and it looked like the visitors would run away with the two points, with Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner firing from all cylinders.
However, KKR skipper Gambhir used his spinners brilliantly in the middle overs, in order to stifle the runs for SRH. This did the trick brilliantly, as Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yusuf Pathan all picked up one wicket each.
With the required run rate moving upwards, the SRH wickets kept tumbling at crucial stages. Although Yuvraj Sing put up some resistance late on, he too soon perished to a Chris Woakes delivery.
These wickets slowed SRH down manifold, as KKR cruised to their victory.
KKR: 172-6 from 20 overs (Uthappa: 68, Pandey : 46; Bhuvneshwar 3-20, Rashid Khan 1-29).
SRH: 155-6 from 20 overs (Warner: 26, Yuvraj: 26; Woakes 2-49, Narine 1-18)
KKR defeat SRH by 17 runs.
SRH: 155-6 from 20 overs
And its all over. There was very little doubt about the result in the end, when SRH needed 26 from 4 balls. However, KKR did well to earn the comeback win, after posting a modest total on board.
SRH: 129-6 from 17.1 overs
WICKET! Trent Boult finally picks up a wicket in the IPL. Cutting tried to make some room and slog it down the ground, but ended up giving a lofted catch to Collin de Grandhomme.
SRH: 113-5 from 15 overs
WICKET! Big wicket for KKR. tried to pull the slower ball, but could not connect properly, and ends up giving an easy catch to substitute fielder Rishi Dhawan.
SRH: 98-4 from 14 overs
WICKET! Brilliant bowling by Sunil Narine. Hooda dances down the track to Narine, but the ball takes a wicked turn, as Uthappa does well to whip the bails off.
SRH: 66-3 from 10.5 overs
WICKET! Another one bites the dust! Henriques hits it straight back at Chris Woakes, who did well to catch it off his own bowling.
SRH: 59-2 from 9.5 overs
WICKET! Kuldeep Yadav picks up the second wicket, and what a big wicket this is. David Warner hits it straight at Woakes.
SRH: 47-1 from 7 overs
WICKET! Yusuf Pathan gets the breakthrough for KKR. The change of pace does the trick.
SRH: 39-0 from 5 overs
A good start for SRH. Both Dhawan and Warner have been scoring at a quick rate. KKR need a couple of wickets quickly, if they want to stay in the match.
KKR: 172-6 from 20 overs
A couple of wickets there in the end, helped SRH restrict KKR to, what looks like, a competitive total. The onus will now be on SRH to win this game.
KKR: 154-4 from 19 overs
WICKET! Manish Pandey will be kicking himself right now. He absolutely skied a delivery by Bhuvi, as SRH skipper Warner produced a safe pair of hands to catch it.
KKR: 117-3 from 14.2 overs
WICKET! Uthappa finally runs out of luck! Tries to slog Ben Cutting, but engs up giving an easy catch to Rashid Khan in the deep.
KKR: 94-2 from 12 overs
FIFTY! That was quite streaky, but Uthappa gets there in the end. His uppish shot looked to be sailing straight towards Shikhar Dhawan in the deep, but it dropped just short of the opening batsman, as Uthappa gets his half century.
KKR: 40-2 from 5.4 overs
WICKET! SRH have struck, and they have struck early. They have managed to get both the openers in the first six overs of the match. While Bhuvneshwar knocked over the stumps of Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan decieved Gautam Gambhir, as the ball crashed into the KKR captain's stumps.
Kolkata Knight Riders XI: Gautam Gambhir (c), Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Kuldeep Yadav, Trent Boult, Umesh Yadav
KKR have won the toss, and have put SRH in to bat first.
Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders take on defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad as the Eden Gardens will host the 14th game of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League here on Saturday.
KKR, who have won their last two games, will be eager to complete a hat-trick wins while SRH will be eager to get back to winning ways after being defeated in their previous game against Mumbai Indians.
While KKR, despite losing Chris Lynn, have found a way to get on top of the opposition, SRH in their last two games have struggled with their batting. While skipper Gautam Gambhir has shone with the bat, Umesh Yadav’s comeback has added an edge to their team.
SRH, meanwhile, will need their batsmen and bowlers to find their mojo with the team failing to live up to their champions status in the previous game.