Yuvraj, Bhuvneshwar star in Sunrisers win against Knight Riders; to clash with Gujarat Lions for final spot

Yuvraj SinghNew Delhi: Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 22 runs in Delhi on Wednesday night after an all-round performance led by Yuvraj Singh. The 34-year old produced a brilliant piece of fielding, running Munro out, after having scored 44 runs, helping Sunrisers post a competitive total of 162 runs.

The IPL caravan moved to Delhi after an eventful qualifier in Bangalore last night. Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, two teams who were primed to finish in the top 2, went head to head in the eliminator. Sunrisers lost their way towards the end of the league stages, and KKR beat them twice in that period. Two Delhi openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Gautam Gambhir returned to the stadium where they started it all. Gambhir chose to bowl first on a pitch that he expected “won’t change” much. Morne Morkel and Rajagopal Satish came in for Shakib Al Hasan and Ankit Rajpoot, for the Kolkata side. Hyderabad also made two changes from their loss against KKR at the weekend, bringing in Bipul Sharma and Ben Cutting for Karn Sharma and Kane Williamson.

1. Kuldeep Yadav wrecks havoc

KKR have always been a spinner-dependent side, and on a pitch that offered enough purchase to the spinners, Kuldeep Yadav stood tall and got counted. The left-armer had dismissed Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson on Sunday finishing with 2/28 and continued that rich vein of form in Delhi.

First he removed Moises Henriques with a flat one, which the Australian did not pick up. In the very next delivery, he removed David Warner to leave SRH on a limb. He then followed it up with a direct hit to remove Deepak Hooda, and also had Ben Cutting on the first ball of the 17th over.

2. Yuvraj Singh shows glimpses of his vintage self

Yuvraj Singh scored a brilliant 44 off 30 balls and was the mainstay, if not the only stay, of the SRH batting. Coming in to bat in a sticky situation, where 2 wickets had fallen off consecutive balls, Yuvi stuck to his task and played some quality shots. One of those shots included an elegant 6 straight over the head of the bowler. But, the beautiful innings was blotted by two huge match-turning moments, one run-out and one almost run-out. First, he got Deepak Hooda run-out, by choosing not to run. Then he almost had himself run-out by not paying heed to Naman Ojha’s cries of “NO” and racing for the other crease. Fortunately for him Uthappa’s throw hit him on the leg, and he was spared the blushes.

3. KKR loses top-order for cheap, Manish Pandey stands strong without success

Kolkata’s success this season has all come thanks to either their spinners or their top order. On this night however, the top order batsmen failed—most of them got out after getting good starts. Uthappa, Gambhir and Munro all reached double figures, but could not stick around to hold the innings together. Their star performer in the past few matches, Yusuf Pathan, failed, and KKR were reeling at 69/4 with 11 overs gone. Manish Pandey however glued the innings together with Suryakumar Yadav as the two took KKR closer to the target. The duo added 46 runs for the 5th wicket before Suryakumar Yadav got out to Moises Henriques but Pandey stayed on to fight the odds. Bhuvneshwar Kumar however, dismissed him just when the batsman started to get going, and picked 3 wickets to wrap up the KKR batting 22 runs short of the target.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 162/8 in 20 overs (Yuvraj 44(30), Henriques 31(21), Kuldeep Yadav 3/35) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 140/8 in 20 overs (Pandey 36(28), Gambhir 28(28), Bhivneshwar Kumar 3/19)