Sunrisers eliminate Kolkata

Sunrisers eliminate Kolkata

Warner's men to take on Gujarat Lions for place in final

Sunrisers eliminate Kolkata

Surnrisers Hyderabad might have lost both their league matches to Kolkata Knight Riders but they timed their revenge to perfection. The southern side fought off mental demons and tricky conditions to post a dominating 22-run victory over the two-time champions in the Eliminator at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Wednesday. They will now meet Gujarat Lions on Friday for a place in the final.

 On a double-paced pitch, Sunrisers, propelled by a brisk knock from Yuvraj Singh (44 off 30 balls), posted a challenging 162/8 in 20 overs with chinaman Kuldeep Yadav coming on top with figures of 3-35. Sunrisers then put up a galvanized effort with the ball and in the field to stop Knight Riders at 140/8.

 Knight Riders’ chase was quickly landed in a spot of bother. Robin Uthappa holed out recklessly in the second over but Gautam Gambhir and Colin Munro promptly took control through their 38-run stand for the second wicket. However, Munro was run out in the seventh over when Yuvraj got behind the ball at point with a flash to scatter the stumps.

Gambhir, feeling the heat to accelerate, was dismissed two overs later when he mistimed a pull off Ben Cutting. Worse, Yusuf Pathan too was on his way back in the 10th over when his flick was superbly caught by a diving Bhuvneshwar at deep midwicket. The 46-run stand for the fifth wicket between Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav kept Sunrisers in the hunt. However, Yadav was pouched by Dhawan at midwicket and two overs later, Pandey was back in the hut when he failed to clear the long-on boundary off Bhuvneshwar in the 18th over. Their departure more or less put curtains on Knight Riders’ innings.

Put in, Sunrisers’ explosive opening pair was separated in the second over by Morne Morkel. Shikhar Dhawan tried to cut a delivery on the middle stump, only to find his bails knocked over. Warner and Moises Henriques soothed the nerves by grafting a patient 59 for the second wicket. Gambhir used his spinners to good effect, tossing the new ball to part-time spinner Pathan before bringing in Sunil Narine and chinaman Yadav.

Warner, who got a reprieve at 11 from Pathan off his own bowling, curbed his strokeplay to lay the foundation. Henriques pushed the pace with some muscular heaves. Yadav removed both in succession to put himself on brink of a hat-trick in the 10th over. Henriques, who decided to take the aerial route, was duped by the change of pace, his top edge superbly collected by a sprinting Yadav. Warner faltered immediately when he got down to sweep him flat but missed the line and saw his bails dance in the air. Yadav punched the air in delight.

An innings of substance was due from Yuvraj and the swashbuckling batsman stood up to the challenge. He constructed a crucial knock under pressure, adjusting to the pace of the pitch before cutting loose to treat the crowd. His clean, delightful and free-flowing strokes brought back memories of his old self. Alongwith Deepak Hooda, he raised 49 runs for the fourth wicket to revive Sunrisers. But disaster struck when Hooda was run out following a terrible mix up in the 16th over. Yadav once again played a part, before returning to dismiss Cutting in the next over.

Yuvraj kept negating the good work of the Kolkata spinners before being sent back by Jason Holder’s fullish delivery that knocked his stumps.

However, his innings had got Sunrisers to a position of strength and their bowlers did the rest.