Spin­ners, Yusuf lead Knight Rid­ers into play­offs

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

KOLKATA— Home ad­van­tage counts. But only if you are welle­quipped to use it. With four spin op­tions to call upon on a parched Eden Gar­dens pitch, Kolkata Knight Rid­ers stran­gled Sun­ris­ers Hy­der­abad to de­fend 171 and pull off a 22run vic­tory. The win helped them se­cure a play­off berth, while end­ing Mum­bai In­di­ans’ jour­ney in the tour­na­ment.

Su­nil Narine de­liv­ered his most in­ci­sive bowl­ing spell of the tour­na­ment, with fig­ures of 3 for 26 in four overs. His part­ner in crime was Kuldeep Ya­dav, the 21-year-old chi­na­man bowler who had re­placed Piyush Chawla in the Knight Rid­ers XI. Kuldeep showed a will­ing­ness to flight the ball and re­peat­edly beat the bats­men with his sharp turn and canny googlies. Fig­ures of 2 for 28, im­pres­sive as they are, do not do jus­tice to the skill with which he bowled or the im­pact he made. As Sun­ris­ers fell fur­ther and fur­ther be­hind, the match moved to­wards a tame fin­ish.

Man­ish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan set the match up after Knight Rid­ers slipped to 57 for 3 in the eighth over. The pair added 87 off just 49 balls, with Pandey do­ing most of the run­ning early on. He slog-swept Karn Sharma, the legspin­ner, for con­sec­u­tive sixes over mid­wicket in the ninth over to trig­ger a surge in bound­aries.

As the part­ner­ship pro­gressed and Yusuf joined the run-fest, the two bats­men set Knight Rid­ers up for a 180 plus to­tal. But Pandey’s dis­missal for a 30-ball 48 - he carved a wide full toss from Bhu­vnesh­war Ku­mar straight to Kane Wil­liamson at back­ward point, in the 16th over sapped mo­men­tum out Knight Rid­ers’ in­nings.

Mustafizur Rah­man brought out his usual dis­play of well-dis­guised cut­ters to tie the bats­men down in the 17th and 19th overs. Barinder Sran, who bowled the 18th over, and Bhu­vnesh­war, who bowled the 20th, ex­e­cuted their slower vari­a­tions with ex­quis­ite con­trol. The lower-or­der bats­men found it hard to ad­just to the slow pace of the wicket and even Yusuf lost his tim­ing as the ball got older. Knight Rid­ers man­aged just 27 off 26 after Pandey’s dis­missal, fin­ish­ing with 171 for 6.

In hind­sight, Knight Rid­ers’ strug­gles in the fi­nal few overs was an omi­nous sign for Sun­ris­ers. On a slow, dis­in­te­grat­ing wicket, Knight Rid­ers of opened the bowl­ing with Yusuf and lib­er­ally drew upon their spin re­serves through­out the in­nings.

When Narine was in­tro­duced in the fourth over, David Warner was de­ter­mined not to let him set­tle. But that ef­fort lasted just three balls. After an un­suc­cess­ful at­tempt at a re­verse-sweep and a swat over wide mid-on for six, Warner was beaten by a fuller, flighted off-break that pitched just out­side leg and turned sharply to can­non into leg stump.

For a while there­after, Shikhar Dhawan kept Sun­ris­ers’ alive with a 30-ball 51 that in­cluded four fours and three sixes. While he was the ben­e­fi­ciary of a num­ber of halfvol­leys on the pads, Dhawan showed glimpses of the sweet tim­ing that comes so eas­ily when he is at his best. But when a slog sweep off Kuldeep in the 12th over found Colin Munro at deep mid-wicket, the Sun­ris­ers in­nings went off the rails.—AFP

David Warner at­tempts a re­verse sweep dur­ing Kolkata Knight Rid­ers vs Sun­ris­ers Hy­der­abad, IPL match at Kolkata on Sun­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.