The 55th game in the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League saw Kolkata Knight Riders battling to secure a place in the playoffs as they played Sunrisers Hyderabad at Eden Garden in Kolkata.
Kolkata Knight Riders used the home conditions to a tee as they managed to defend a modest total of 171 runs to claim a well-deserved victory over Sunrisers by 22 runs. The win helped Kolkata secure their position in the playoff and therefore eliminating Mumbai Indians from the competition who won the trophy last year. Sunil Narine delivered at the right moment for his side as he bowled with variation and guile to pick up with three wickets and conceding only 26 runs. The other spinner in the line-up for Kolkata Kuldeep Yadav who replaced Piyush Chawla also stepped up to the plate and took two vital wickets as they controlled the flow of runs to strangle Sunrisers Hyderabad to make easy runs.
Earlier in the day, Sunrisers Hyderabad led by David Warner won the toss and elected to field first on a surface conducive for spin bowling. Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t had the best of the starts as they were placed at 57 for 3 when Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan came together at the crease to build a match winning partnership. The duo added 87 runs off 49 balls with Pandey taking the lead in making more runs and rotating the strike nicely. He swept leg-spinner Karn Sharma for consecutive sixes in the ninth over to up the ante in terms of scoring for the Kolkata. As the partnership flourished, Yusuf Pathan also joined in he struck boundaries and looked well set to take Kolkata to post 180 runs on the board. Manish Pandey ultimately fell for 48 runs off 30 balls as he was dismissed by Bhuveshwar Kumar in 16th over.
Mustafizur Rahman once again performed well under pressure at the end overs with his well-used slow cutters to stem the flow of runs as Kolkata could only must 27 runs off last four overs. Yusuf Pathan struggled to play big shots as the ball got older and he found it hard to adjust to the conditions. David Warner went early trying to unsettle Sunil Narine in the first few overs. Shikhar Dhawan was the only batsman to muster some kind of fight back as the rest of batting order wilted under and gave their wickets away to some tidy bowling executed three spinners in setup of Kolkata Knight Riders.
Kolkata pulled off a clinical win despite Andre Russell missing the game due to leg injury while Sunrisers have already qualified for the playoffs in the Indian Premier League.