Kolkata take playoff spot after thumping win
Sunil Narine's best figures of the season, coupled with some middle order fireworks from Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey, gave Kolkata a crucial 22-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens on May 22. The win takes them to third place in the Indian Premier League table, and therefore a place in the four-team playoff. Hyderabad are in second spot while the day’s second game between Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore is a straight shootout to see who takes the fourth spot.
Asked to bat first, Kolkata compiled 171 for six with Yusuf Pathan hitting an unbeaten 34-ball 52 and Manish Pandey weighing in with a 30-ball 48.
Hyderabad were in the chase for a while even though they lost their talismanic captain David Warner for 18, bowled by Narine. Fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan carried the challenge almost on his own with a 30-ball 51 studded with four fours and three sixes.
Narine also took the wicket of an out-of-sorts Naman Ojha but it was Dhawan’s departure at 92 in the 13th over that was a major blow. Even then, the equation was brought down to 62 from 34 with seven wickets in hand and Kane Williamson and Yuvraj Singh at the crease.
It was then that Shakib Al Hasan had Yuvraj caught in the deep on the leg side, and that truly started the slide for Hyderabad. Narine returned to bowl Moises Henriques, in the process finishing with excellent figures of three for 26 in four overs. Hyderabad then crawled to 149 for eight to surrender their second game to their West Bengal opponents this season.
The game carried additional interest for Bangladesh fans as it pitted the two Bangladeshis plying their trade in the IPL. While Shakib did take a crucial wicket he was expensive in conceding 34 runs after scoring a below-par 10-ball seven in Kolkata’s innings. Mustafizur, meanwhile, conceded 32 runs for the wicket of Jason Holder, but it was not too expensive considering the overall rate of Kolkata’s scoring and that he bowled two of his overs at the death. He did get an opportunity to square off against his senior Bangladesh teammate, bowling six balls to Shakib across the 17th and 19th overs off which the left-handed all-rounder scored four.
Before that however, Mustafizur was taken to task by Pandey and Pathan, conceding 14 runs in his second over, the 13th of the innings. The Kolkata duo put on 87 runs for the fourth wicket from just 8.1 overs after the Knight Riders were reduced to 57 for three, courtesy of strikes from Barinder Sran and Deepak Hooda. Pandey provided the initial impetus with two fours and three sixes while Pathan provided the finishing touches with three fours and two sixes.
Scores in Brief
Kolkata: 171 for 6 (Pathan 52 not out, Pandey 48, Uthappa 25; Hooda 2-16, Kumar 2-31, Sran 1-31, Mustafizur 1-32)
Hyderabad: 149 for 8 (Dhawan 51, Yuvraj 19, Warner 18; Narine 3-26, Yadav 2-28, Rajpoot 1-21, Shakib 1-34)
Result: Kolkata won by 22 runs