Sunrisers Hyderabad entered the knockout stage of the IPL VI beating Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium here on Sunday.
After restricting defending champions Knight Riders to 130 for seven in 20 overs, Sunrisers made 132 for five in 18.5 overs to emerge worthy winner in front of the home crowd.
The result also meant that Royal Challengers Bangalore’s campaign in this edition of the IPL has come to an end.
They had kept their hopes of entering the play-off alive with a clinical 24-run win over Chennai Super Kings at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Saturday.
Royal Challengers, who enjoyed a superior net run-rate (+0.457), were tied with Sunrisers (net run-rate +0.003) at 18 points before this game.
A victory for Knight Riders on the day was essential for the Bangalore outfit to advance to the play-offs. But as it turned out, Sunrisers held their nerve to beat Knight Riders to move into the play-offs.
Not so smooth
However, it was not a smooth entry into the play-offs for the Sunrisers. They were 89 for no loss while chasing 131 at one stage, but Hyderabad slipped to 112 for five to kindle some hopes among Bangalore fans of grabbing a last gasp place in the play-offs.
But Darren Sammy slammed two successive sixes of Iqbal Abdulla to seal the match in favour of Sunrisers. Thus they became the fourth team to secure a berth in the play-offs with the other three being Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.
Hyderabad will now face Royals in the eliminator match to be held in Delhi on Wednesday.
It might have been a coincidence that the Royal Challengers’ hopes of entering the play-offs were dashed by a team from Hyderabad for the second time in as many years. In 2012, Royal Challengers needed to defeat the now-defunct Deccan Chargers in their last league encounter to enter the play-offs, but they failed to win a closely contested match then.
Chargers had defeated Royal Challengers in the final of the 2010 edition of the IPL held in South Africa.
Qualifier 1 on May 1: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians (New Delhi)
Eliminator on May 22: Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (New Delhi)
Qualifier 2 on May 24: Loser of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Eliminator (Kolkata)
Final on May 26: Winner of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Qualifier 2 (Kolkata)