Hyderabad, May 19 (IANS) Kolkatta Knight Riders set a target of 131 for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the must-win match for the latter, if they want to reach play-offs of the sixth Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL), at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium Sunday night.
With 12 points from 15 matches, KKR are at the seventh position and the result will make no difference to their standing. For Sunrisers, it is a must-win match to reach semifinals.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, KKR scored 130 for seven in 20 overs, thanks mainly to Yousuf Pathan’s 49 not out off 29 deliveries.
The last year’s champions found run-making tough on a slow pitch and on the disciplined bowling by Sunrisers in their familiar home conditions.
Bowling with perfect line and length once again, the Sunrisers bowlers did not allow KKR batsmen to free their arms. It was only Pathan who played some confident shots in his brisk knock which included three fours and three hits over the fence. The other notable contribution was made by Jacques Kallis (24 off 29 balls)
Thisara Perera drew the first blood for Sunrisers when Manvinder Bisla (15 off 17 balls) tried to loft him over mid-wicket and a top edge landed in the safe hands of Cameron White, leaving the visitors at 25 for one in fifth over.
Gautam Gambhir (10 off 17) failed once again. He started running immediately after a cut shot towards point and after reaching half way through realized that Kallis did not want the run. He tried to return but it was too late.
Karan Sharma gave another breakthrough in the 11th over when Eoin Morgan, who survived loud LBW appeals facing the same bowler earlier, was found plumb in front of the wicket as he missed the ball while trying to go for a big hit.
Pathan then joined Kallis to steer the innings. The experienced batsmen kept the score board ticking with singles and occasional boundaries. They added 30 runs for the fourth wicket, the highest partnership of the innings.
Dale Steyn struck on the first ball of his second spell and the 16th over of the inning to remove his compatriot Kallis, who tried to loft him but found Dhawan at deep square-leg. Kallis struck two boundaries in his knock of 24 off 29 deliveries.
Ten Doeschate (1 off 5) went cheaply when Amit Sharma trapped him in front of the wicket. Steyn dealt another blow by sending back Paras Dogra (5 off 8), who was playing first match.
Pathan hit the first six of the inning in 18th over of the inning bowled by Perera. He also hit Steyn over the fence in the very next over and hit his third six on the last ball of the inning off Perera.
Steyn was once again pick of the bowlers with two for 24. Anand Rajan, playing his only second match this season and coming in for Ishant Sharma, claimed one for 22. Perera, Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma bagged a wicket each.