An all-round show from Rashid Khan helped Sunrisers Hyderabad end their four-match slump and beat Kolkata Knight Riders in their backyard at Eden to take them to the finals of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. Stuck in a rut against Kuldeep Yadav, Sunrisers appeared to be doomed until Rashid lifted them with a late cameo.
The Afghanistan leggie returned to pick up three wickets in a deadly four-over spell, effected a brilliant run-out and took two catches to complete an all-round performance and derail Kolkata's surge to the finals. Here are the best moments from the second qualifier at Kolkata.
The Rashid-Uthappa face-off
If Kolkata Knight Riders had to stop a pumped-up Rashid, they needed Robin Uthappa to fire. The stylish Kolkata batsman had been in woeful form in the past few matches, but his exemplary record against Rashid Khan, which few can boast of, gave Kolkata hope.
Before Friday, Uthappa had faced 31 balls from Rashid, scoring 58 off them at a strike rate of 187.09. The fact that he had never been dismissed by the leggie further bolstered his credentials. Perhaps, the confidence stemming from this result forced Uthappa to play an ugly reverse sweep to Rashid off the first ball he face from him on Friday. Being a pre-meditated shot, Uthappa couldn't read the length and the full ball from Rashid went under his bat and rocked the stumps.
What goes around comes around
Sunrisers Hyderabad were looking to up the ante through Carlos Brathwaite, but Nitish Rana squashed all such thoughts with a brilliant bit of fielding on the boundary ropes. He dived full length to prevent a boundary and then produced an accurate throw to the ’keeper to catch Brathwaite short of the crease.
In Kolkata's innings, Rana walked in at No 3 and appeared in ominous touch much like Brathwaite but suffered a fate similar to what he inflicted in the first innings. Rana nudged Shakib to deep mid-wicket, slipped at the non-striker's end and attempted a risky second run. With Rashid's bullet throw coming in accurately, Rana was caught marginally short of the crease.
Four sixes that turned the game
Sunrisers Hyderabad seemed to be ambling to a below-par total with the cream of their batting line-up back in the hutch. They needed a final boost from one of Brathwaite or Yusuf Pathan but neither obliged. With his ugly hoicks, Rashid compensated for the two with a brilliant knock studded with four maximums.
Piyush Chawla missed a catch at the boundary ropes and parried it over the fence to give the Afghan player a lucky six. He followed it up with a maximum over cover, a shot that put some of their famed batsmen to shame. In the final over from Prasidh Krishna, he whipped one over square leg for yet another six and completed the onslaught with one more in the final ball, smashing a slower ball over long-on. The innings turned on its head in these two overs as Sunrisers raced from 138/6 in 18 overs to 174/7 in 20.
Karthik drops a skier, compensates with insane stumping
With Wriddhiman Saha in the mood to blindly go at balls after a horrendous start, Shivam Mavi forced a top edge from the batsman that soared into the night sky. Calling for the catch, Dinesh Karthik, with his gloves on, rushed to square leg and dived full length but the ball had swirled away from the Kolkata skipper. The dropped attempt cost Kolkata 30 extra runs as Saha finally managed to break his shackles and resurrect Sunrisers Hyderabad's innings.
With memories of a 2014 IPL final knock against Kolkata Knight Riders while he was playing for Kings XI Punjab hovering in the air, Karthik pulled off a brilliant stumping to catch his counterpart behind the stumps short. A googly had Saha fumbling at the crease and an inside edge onto his body landed just outside the leg-stump. Karthik swooped in from behind the stumps and rolled over while breaking the stumps to catch Saha, who had stepped out, short.
Narine hammers Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar's enticing battle with Sunil Narine turned out to be highlight of the second innings as the West Indian stood undaunted, smashing Bhuvneshwar, one of T20s better bowlers, all around the park. A full toss first up from the Indian seamer was smashed through covers for four by Narine.
He followed it up with a clean strike over long-off for six to put the Sunrisers’ new ball bowler under pressure. With Bhuvneshwar targetting his body next ball with a short of a length delivery, Narine slogged across the line, getting an inside edge that raced to square leg for another four. He completed the flurry of runs with a tennis smash over Bhuvneshwar's head for a fourth boundary in succession.
Updated Date: May 26, 2018 16:48:48 IST