Sunrisers Hyderabad yet again used their bowling firepower to overpower a weak Kolkata Knight Riders outfit hit by injury, poor planning and unimaginative captaincy. Hyderabad retained their place at the top of the table with their third consecutive win of the season. Kolkata, on the other hand, have a lot of work to be done after a rather below par performance in front of their home fans.
Here we rate the 22 players in a report card from the game at Eden Gardens:
Bhuvneshwar returned from injury to spearhead the intimidating Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack and immediately made an impact as he picked up the early wicket of Robin Uthappa.
He then sent back Dinesh Karthik just as the Kolkata skipper was starting to threaten and added one more to finish with figures of 3/26 in yet another disciplined performance.
Playing against his former franchise, Shakib seemed to know his way around, helping his new team dismantle his former one. His tight bowling resulted in the wickets of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine, both of whom could have been quite dangerous with an extended stay at the wicket. More than the wickets it was Shakib's economy rate that caught the eye. He returned with the bat to slam a 21-ball 27 in the company of a sturdy Kane Williamson and helped Sunrisers move to a comfortable win.
Having lost Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha and Manish Pandey early, Sunrisers found themselves in untested waters but skipper Williamson led from the front with a well-compiled half-century, guiding Sunrisers to their third straight win in the season. The Kiwi batsman was rarely perturbed as he went about pacing his innings to perfection. Williamson's knock further emphasised that he needs to open the batting in place of Saha.
Following up from a nerve-wracking experience in the previous game, Stanlake returned with fire in his belly and produced another spectacular display with the ball. His four overs went for a mere 21 runs and he rocked Kolkata's batting with the key wickets of Nitish Rana and Andre Russell.
Perhaps the only positive for Kolkata Knight Riders in a disastrous outing was that the powerful Chris Lynn hammered his way to the 40s despite his teammates doing their best to disregard his efforts. A tame dismissal - a return catch to Shakib - ended his promising innings.
While Kolkata Knight Riders struggled to contain the Sunrisers with their pace bowlers and bizarre tactics, Piyush Chawla disturbed Shakib’s woodwork, thus disrupting a budding partnership. The leggie conceded a meagre 20 runs in his four excellent overs but couldn't do enough to win the game for his team.
The West Indies spinner batted out of position and unsurprisingly made little impact. But with the ball, he turned on the screws, sending back openers Saha and Dhawan to bring KKR back into the contest a bit. His four spectacular overs (2/17) nearly helped Kolkata create panic waves in the Sunrisers camp.
As much as Kolkata lost the plot with their planning, their spinners did a fine job of making a match out of it and Kuldeep did his part by sending back former teammate, Manish Pandey. Kuldeep's spell tightened the screws a touch but not enough for Sunrisers to press the panic button.
Left with the duty of sealing the run chase after Kane Williamson departed in the fag end of the innings, Pathan smashed three vital boundaries, much to the disappointment of the Kolkata crowd. His seven-ball 17 helped Sunrisers Hyderabad overcome a late fightback of sorts from the hosts.
Not quite in his elements today, Rashid could not pick up a wicket but ensured he wasn't taken to the cleaners in four decent overs. However, the leg-spinner would want to work on his economy a touch, particularly since restricting the run-scoring is one of Rashid’s most raved about qualities with the ball.
Opening the batting was supposed to be a great chance for Saha to impress better with the bat but after three outings, the Test wicket-keeper seems to have gone down the flashy path as he teased to fire before falling to an innocuous ball from Narine. Saha will need more compelling performances to keep Williamson away from his opening slot.
After two excellent outings, Kaul had a rather ordinary game as Lynn got stuck into him. The Australian alone smashed him for four fours and a six as Kaul finished with 1/37 in his four overs.
The big West Indian all-rounder had a field day against Chennai Super Kings a few days back but could do nothing against a well-organised Sunrisers bowling attack. He was also wayward with the ball and ended up conceding at 13 an over.
A rather poor shot at a time when his team needed him to merely support the big man Lynn, sees Rana at the bottom half of this report card. Having tonked Rashid for a four and a six, Rana gifted his wicket with a ribbon when he slashed Billy Stanlake to Pandey at point.
Johnson's return to the starting XI was in itself a bit surprising and the Australian did little to justify his inclusion on a night where everything went wrong for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Johnson's lacklustre spell speeded up the Sunrisers' win and it would be a surprise if he retains his place in the side for the next game.
An in-form Dhawan was one of Kolkata's biggest worries, but Narine ensured that the southpaw would have an off-day as he ripped one past the opener and disturbed his stumps.
Despite being the second-highest run-scorer for his team, Karthik loses points for his uninspiring captaincy. Having shielded Narine from some pretty good new ball bowlers, he bizarrely sent in the West Indian at No 4 shortly after the powerplay and even had Shubman Gill down at No 7, below Russell. He failed to attack in the second innings as well and let Sunrisers run away with the game. Shivam Mavi wasn't brought into the attack until the 14th over and was withdrawn after a single over.
Against his former franchise, Pandey couldn't quite get going as he grappled around for 11 balls before completely playing around a Kuldeep delivery to be dismissed leg before wicket.
Pushed to open the innings perhaps to save Narine from Bhuvneshwar, Uthappa did little better as he edged the Indian seamer through to Saha while attempting to run the ball down to third man.
It was rather unfair to send Gill in at No 7 in the batting order when the youngster had an innings to resurrect and only a little more than six overs remaining in the innings. The under-19 batsman deserves more chances at the top of the order.
An unbeaten knock in which he mostly played second-fiddle to the other batsmen is too small a sample size to rate Deepak Hooda’s night.
Disturbingly kept back until the 14th over by his skipper, Mavi sent down a 10-run over but given his captain’s reluctance to bowl him earlier, the youngster did not quite have the right platform to launch his IPL career. It would be too harsh to rate him for a solitary over bowled at a time the match was all but over.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor