Hyderabad beat KKR, qualify for playoffs
The Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets to seal their IPL playoff place in Hyderabad on Sunday.
Full Scorecard: Hyderabad v Kolkata
After being set 131 for victory, the hosts hit a few snags on their way, but Darren Sammy finished the match in style with two consecutive sixes to clinch the win and a place in the knockouts for the Hyderabad franchise.
The Sunrisers’ openers got off to a solid start in their chase with an 89-run partnership before Shikhar Dhawan was trapped leg-before by Iqbal Abdulla for 42 off 35.
Dhawan's attempt at a reverse sweep led to his undoing, but the Sunrisers were hardly troubled, and at 89-1, they were still in the driving seat.
Parthiv Patel followed his fellow opener back to the dugout shortly after, also falling leg-before to Abdulla. Patel had added 47 off 37 and while attempting to flick the ball away, he missed his shot and was hit on his pads as the hosts lost their second wicket with 100 runs on the board.
Things then went a little bit awry for the Sunrisers as they lost three wickets for nine runs with skipper Cameron White run out, Hanuma Vihari becoming Abdulla's third victim and Thisara Perera undone by a magnificent yorker from Shami Ahmed.
With the Sunrisers needing 19 off 13, Biplab Samantray strolled out to the middle to join Sammy and announced his arrival at the crease with a four down to fine leg.
Abdulla was brought back to bowl his final over with two overs left and 15 runs to defend.
Sammy, however, made it an emphatic finish and ensured he sealed the deal with two sixes, both hammered over long off to help the hosts seal the win.
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Earlier, Yusuf Pathan was the hero of the KKR innings, hitting 49 off 29 to help them to a respectable total in the face of some destructive bowling from Dale Steyn, who finished with figures of 4-0-24-2.
Kolkata won the toss and chose to bat first, but they got off to a slow start and Manvinder Bisla was given his marching orders in the fifth over, getting a top edge after trying to slog a ball from outside off over mid-wicket.
White took a good catch at deep extra cover and Perera picked up a wicket to unsettle the top order with Kolkata 25-1.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir was run out after Jacques Kallis refused his call from the non-striker's end, but Gambhir was already half way down the track before he realised that, and had to turn back.
The Knight Riders were still going steady, though, and at 42-2 after 7.1 overs, they had plenty of time to bat their way to a competitive total.
The game got into a slight slump, though, as the spinners kept things tight and Eoin Morgan succumbed to the pressure. Morgan tried to sweep, but missed it completely and was caught on his pads by Karan Sharma and the Irishman had to go for nine off nine.
At 59-3 and 10.4 overs into the innings, the Knight Riders needed to up the ante, but the hosts continued to do what they do so very well: keep the lid on their opposition.
Steyn got rid of countryman Kallis (24) in the 16th over with Kallis trying to flick the ball over deep square leg, but he got an edge instead and Sunrisers were right on top.
Ryan ten Doeschate followed in the very next over for a single as Amit Mishra foxed the batsman with a googly.
Ten Doeschate failed to read the delivery and was caught in front of his pads for a painstaking one off five as the Knight Riders slumped to 95-5 with less than four overs to go.
Steyn struck again in his final over as Paras Dogra tried to take the South African quick on, but hit the ball straight to long-on instead and KKR crumbled to 111-6 as the Sunrisers edged ever closer to a play-off place.
Pathan, however, managed to hit Steyn over mid-wicket for six right after the Proteas paceman bounced him to help keep KKR on course for a good total.
The match continued to ebb and flow until the very last over with Anand Rajan picking up a wicket off the first ball of the final over.
Sunil Narine sliced the ball to point and Perera took a good, low catch as the action seemed to never end.
Pathan managed to get himself on strike for the final delivery and hammered it over long-on for six to end the visitors’ innings.
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD: PA Patel (wk), S Dhawan, GH Vihari, CL White (capt), BB Samantray, NLTC Perera, DJG Sammy, KV Sharma, A Mishra, DW Steyn, Anand Rajan
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: MS Bisla (wk), G Gambhir (capt), JH Kallis, YK Pathan, EJG Morgan, RN ten Doeschate, P Dogra, Iqbal Abdulla, SP Narine, PJ Sangwan, Shami Ahmed