Mustafizur Rahman’s Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Shakib Al Hasan-less Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator by 22 runs to earn themselves a shot for a place in the final of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016. Chasing 163, KKR were restricted to a paltry 140 for eight.
The cutter master may have gone wicketless in the crunch encounter but he still left his mark through a tight spell in the death overs. Kolkata were very much in the game after the 18th over, needing 33 runs from the last two. But Mustafizur was at his best coming into the penultimate over, and gave away only 8 runs to make the equation virtually impossible for the Knight Riders. In the last over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar took two wickets while conceding only two runs to help his team get over the line in style.
The Fizz finished with figures of nought for 28, while the purple cap holder Bhuvneshwar Kumar took three for 19. Moises Henriques grabbed two wickets and Benjamin Cutting got one. Manish Pandey topscored for KKR with 36, while 28 and 23 came from captain Gautam Gambhir and Suryakumar Yadav’s bat respectively.
Earlier in the evening after winning the toss, Kolkata inserted their opposition to bat first. Though the Sunrisers innings didn’t see any big contribution from any of their top order batsmen, it was the experienced campaigner Yuvraj Singh, who scored a vital 30-ball 44 hitting 8 fours and one six, and stitched some much needed partnerships in the middle overs to lead the Orange Army to post a modest total of 162 for 8.
Moises Henriques and David Warner also chipped in with scores of 31 and 28 respectively, and together they combined for the highest stand of the innings — 59 runs for the second wicket. Kuldeep Yadav was Kolkata’s star player in the field, removing Warner and Henriques in consecutive deliveries and finishing with three for 35. To add to that, an electric throw from Yadav also earned his team a much needed breakthrough in the shape of Deepak Hooda’s run-out. Aside Yadav, Kolkata’s pace bowling duo Jason Holder and Morne Morkel hauled two wickets each.