Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) faced table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad at their fortress in Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Saturday, in a must-win clash for their survival in the tournament. The Knights went on to clinch a spot in the playoffs with the five-wicket win.
It all looked a distant dream for the purple army while Shikhar Dhawan, Shreevats Goswami and Kane Williamson were batting in the middle.
SRH were looking at score beyond 210 before DK’s men pulled it back in the final six overs. The men in orange lost wickets in clumps in the end and only managed a sub-par score of 172.
Prasidh Krishna was the pick of the bowlers who ended up with a four-wicket haul.
Young Turk, Shubman Gill reckoned it was the death bowling which made the difference in the end.
“The way we bowled in the death overs was great. Prasidh (4-0-30-4) bowled really well and got good support from the other end. Our death over bowling was the turning point against SRH. We are feeling great to qualify for the playoffs, and we are looking to face our opponent in the eliminator,” Shubman Gill commented during the post-match press conference.
Due to some lazy ground fielding and dropped catches, the match was going beyond the reach of KKR. But it was also the spinners responsible for pulling it back during the middle overs.
Gill further lauds spinners and openers
“The way our bowlers, especially our spinners are helping us make a comeback is phenomenal. In T20 bowlers are bound to get hit, but the important point is how we react to it,” added Gill.
After the blistering start provided by Narine, Lynn and Uthappa, the formalities were completed by finished Dinesh Karthik, who sealed the deal for his side.
“Almost in every match, Narine and Lynn have made quick starts. It gives time to the middle order batsmen to settle down. Today we thought that pitch would spin, but it did not change much when we were batting in the second innings,” added the World Cup-winning member of the Indian U19 squad.
With their win over SRH, the Knights are expected to play the fourth-placed side in the points table in the Eliminator on Wednesday, at home in Eden Gardens.
“KKR will likely be playing against the fourth-placed team in the Eliminator in Kolkata on Wednesday. “We will have the advantage of playing in front of home crowd. In Kolkata, people are very supportive. Hopefully, we will put up a good show,” he said.