IPL 2018 has almost reached the end of the league stages and the 54th match of the tournament saw Sunrisers Hyderabad host Kolkata Knight Riders at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal.
SRH have already qualified for the playoffs and sits pretty at the no.1 spot in the points table and KKR was positioned at no.3 in the table before the match. Toss saw Kane Williamson choosing to bat first after winning it. SRH brought in Yusuf Pathan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Carlos Brathwaite in the team; while KKR included Piyush Chawla in the team in place of Shivam Mavi.
SRH started off well with Shikhar Dhawan (50, 5 fours and 1 six) and Shreevats Goswami (35) putting on 79 runs. Kane Williamson scored 36 in 17 balls with 3 sixes and 1 four and in the process became the highest run-getter in this IPL season, leaving KL Rahul behind.
But with Prasidh Krishna dismissing Dhawan, Kuldeep dismissing Goswami and Searles taking the wicket of Williamson, KKR pegged the SRH run rate back. Manish Pandey scored 25 in 23 balls but was unable to hit the big shots when needed. Big hitters in Brathwaite and Yusuf failed to get going, as Prasidh Krishna’s 4/30 kept SRH to 172/9 in 20 overs.
Andre Russell, Kuldeep Yadav, Searles, and Narine picked up a wicket too.
KKR knew that they had to win the match and they went after the target with gusto. Narine (29 off 10 with 4 fours and 2 sixes) and Chris Lynn got stuck into the bowlers, adding 52 runs in 3.4 overs. Lynn scored 55 in 43 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes, before Kaul got him out.
Robin Uthappa (45 in 34 balls) and Dinesh Karthik kept KKR in the chase. But Brathwaite removed Uthappa and Kaul removed Russell, leaving the dirty work to Karthik and Rana. Siddharth Kaul was the best SRH bowler with 2/26 in his four overs, on his 28th birthday.
KKR reached the target with 5 wickets in hand, with captain Karthik unbeaten on 26 off 22 balls. KKR finally realized their primary target of reaching the playoffs with 16 points.
SRH bowlers failed to uphold their reputation as the best bowling unit for the second match running, as they lost their second game at home this season.
SRH 172/9 (S DHAWAN 50; P KRISHNA 4/30) lost to KKR 173/5 (C LYNN 53; S KAUL 2/26) by 5 wkts.