IPL 2016 | KKR deliver when it matters to enter play-offs

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IPL 2016 | KKR deliver when it matters to enter play-offs

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SportsCafe Desk

05/22/2016

Faced with a must-win situation, Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey took KKR to a defendable total of 171 at the Eden Gardens. The ever-dependable Sunil Narine then took out Warner early on, and SRH stumbled to a 22-run loss, despite Dhawan's fifty, to welcome their foes into the play-offs of IPL 2016.

KKR came into the crucial game after having suffered a defeat to Gujarat Lions, while SRH was having a pleasant outing with the playoff spot in the kitty. Chawla and Morkel went out for KKR, while Munro and Kuldeep came into the line-up. Hyderabad made only one change and brought in Kane Williamson in place of Eoin Morgan.

1. Pathan and Russell conduct calculated assault on SRH bowlers

KKR started well enough. Robin Uthappa was on song scoring 25 runs in a 33-run opening partnership with Gambhir as KKR were coasting at 10 runs per over. Uthappa's dismissal brought in Munro, who blasted two fours, but soon Munro and Gambhir were out in a span of 11 runs, and KKR were at 57/3. But Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey responded in style to the mini-collapse. Pathan danced down the pitch to strike a four just two balls after Gambhir left, and Pandey carted Karn Sharma for two consecutive sixes off the next two balls.

Musta'fizz'ur was expected to take the fizz out of the partnership, but the bowler leaked 20 runs off his first 2 overs as the duo continued their rampage. Finally, it was Bhuvi who stopped the onslaught as Manish Pandey holed out just 2 runs short of a deserved 50 in the 16th over.

2. SRH pull back at the death

KKR looked poised for a 200 score until Pandey's dismissal. But how quickly fortunes changed! Jason Holder was taken out by Fizz in the next over, and Shakib Al Hasan, who came in, looked absolutely uncomfortable in the midst. Pathan had reached his 50, but even he looked subdued a bit now. The 18th over saw 6 runs scored off it, and in the penultimate over, Mustafizur allowed only 3 runs as Shakib made two dot balls. After all that, Shakib was put out of his misery by Bhuvneshwar in the first ball of the last over. Only 7 runs came off the last over as KKR finally ended up with 171 runs—only 16 runs had come off the last 3 overs.

3. Warner wanes, Dhawan dazzles

After scoring 46, 52 and 73 in his last 3 innings, David Warner decided to have an off day and got out at 18. After slugging Narine for a six, Warner was foxed by a full delivery from West Indian that hit the leg stump. Shikhar Dhawan took over to keep the run rate chugging along, finding the boundary consistently. But, Naman Ojha, who had been promoted at the other end, played a Test innings scoring 15 runs off 25 balls. Yes. You heard that. Dhawan, meanwhile, almost made up for his partner with a 30-ball 50, but eventually fell for 51 while attempting a fine sweep, only to see it end up straight at deep midwicket.

4. Rest of SRH does the usual

Ojha, who should have built upon the steady platform he had given himself, disappeared into the pavilion as well, when he finally went for the big shot. His big slogoff Narine looped in the air and was safely pouched by Uthappa ten feet from the stumps. Yuvraj Singh came in and did what Ojha should have done hitting two sixes and a four, but holed out in the deep off Shakib Al Hasan. On some grounds, that would have been a six, but today Yuvraj had to go. That started a collapse as two wickets ensued in quick successionto put KKR at 117/6 by 15.4 overs. With the required rate well beyond reach, SRH jogged past the line to allow KKR as well into the play-offs. 

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