The 2nd Qualifier of IPL 2018 featured Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens. It was expected to be one heck of a game given the form of the 2 sides. KKR, playing at home, were dominant for a large part of the match but at the end, they were beaten by one man – Rashid Khan.
It was Dinesh Karthik who had the luck with the coin toss and he asked the opposition to bat first. SRH had brought in Wriddhiman Saha in place of Shreevats Goswami for this game and the former opened the innings alongside Shikhar Dhawan. Initially, there was a good contest between bat and bowl as the batting side didn’t score much.
A sluggish build-up for SRH
Dhawan struck a couple of beautiful shots while Saha too found his touch after spending time in the middle. The powerplay overs yielded 45 runs without resulting in a wicket. The left-handed batsman upped the ante by striking 2 boundaries in the over of Piyush Chawla but Kuldeep Yadav got him out off the first ball of his spell for 34.
Kuldeep then caught the big fish in the form of Kane Williamson for 3 in the same over to peg SRH back. Saha tried to take center stage by fetching a few boundaries but it was the turn of Chawla to pick up a wicket as the leg-spinner sent back Saha for 35 in the 11th over. The brakes were applied on the scoring after that as the batting side reached 100/3 after 14 overs.
Shakib Al Hasan had got his eye in and it was time for him to increase the scoring rate. But as soon as he began to go big, an unfortunate run out cut short his innings to 28 off 24 balls. Deepak Hooda’s run-a-ball 19 didn’t help in the context of the game and Chawla accounted for his wicket in the 17th over as the score read 124/5.
Rashid Khan came good with the bat
SRH were in danger of falling short of a competitive total and Carlos Brathwaite, who had played a late cameo in the last game, also departed for 8 in the 18th over. Yusuf Pathan too was dismissed cheaply and it all seemed downhill. But Rashid Khan stood up with the bat and scored 34 from just 10 balls with 2 fours and 4 sixes to take his side to 174/7 after 20 overs.
KKR’s chase began with the usual flourish as the openers Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine went after the bowlers. Narine went berserk in the 3rd over and hammered 19 runs against Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Even though he lost his wicket in the next over to Siddharth Kaul, the left-hander had done his job with a knock of 23 from 13.
The new man Nitish Rana smashed 2 sixes as soon as he came to the crease and Lynn too kept going strong as the score raced off to 67/1 after 6 overs. The duo added 47 runs in quick time before Rana was found short of his crease courtesy an accurate throw from the boundary by Rashid Khan.
Rashid Khan – This time with the ball
KKR were still in control of the chase due to the presence of Lynn and he had the support of Robin Uthappa. Rashid Khan then delivered with the ball and castled Uthappa for 2. Shakib did the same to Karthik at the other end as the skipper departed for just 8. Rashid then added to his wickets tally by claiming the prized wicket of Lynn for 48.
All of a sudden, SRH were back in the game as KKR were struggling at 112/5 after 13 overs. Andre Russell carried massive expectations but Rashid once again silenced the capacity crowd by sending back the dangerman for 3 and finished his spell with magnificent figures of 19/3.
Shubman Gill was still at the crease and carried the hopes on his shoulders. After Khaleel Ahmed’s 16th over went for 14, SRH gained control back in the overs that followed. The equation came down to 30 from the last 2 overs. Kaul gave away 11 runs in the penultimate over as Gill held his nerves leaving 19 to get from the last over.
Williamson handed the ball to Brathwaite for the final over who conceded a boundary off the first ball to Shivam Mavi. Off the next ball, in an attempt to clear the fence, Mavi held out to Rashid at deep mid-wicket. It was like an action-replay when Gill was caught at the boundary off the 3rd ball for 30. The bowler kept his calm and went for just 1 run off the next 3 balls as SRH won the match by 13 runs to set up the summit clash against Chennai Super Kings.
Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and opted to bowl first
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 174/7 in 20 overs
Wriddhiman Saha 35 (27), Rashid Khan 34* (10)
Kuldeep Yadav 29/2 (4), Piyush Chawla 22/1 (3)
Kolkata Knight Riders: 161/9 in 20 overs
Chris Lynn 48 (31), Shubman Gill 30 (20)
Rashid Khan 19/3 (4), Carlos Brathwaite 16/2 (2)
Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 13 runs
Player of the Match: Rashid Khan