Visakhapatnam: Sunrisers Hyderabad pacers gave an awesome display of bowling at the death to propel their side to a 16-run win over holders Kolkata Knight Riders in a rain-curtailed Indian Premier League (IPL) contest here on Wednesday.
Put in to bat, Sunrisers piled up 176/4, before showers reduced the Knights’ target to 118 in 12 overs as the Duckworth-Lewis rule was invoked at the VDCA stadium in this port city.
The Knights, however, could only muster 101/4 in their allotted overs, with the batsmen failing to take full advantage of loose deliveries, while the home side’s bowlers also came up with a good show, maintaining good line and length.
Sunrisers thus climbed to the fourth spot with their second victory in five outings. The Knights remain third with a 3-2 win-loss record from five matches.
The game’s last four overs bowled by pacers Ravi Bopara, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2 overs) and Praveen Kumar yielded just 25 runs, as well controlled yorkers prevented the willowers from going for the slog.
Chasing almost 10 an over, the visitors seemed to have taken up the challenge in the early overs, with Robin Uthappa tonking a few to the ropes. Two flick shots were particularly praiseworthy.
Uthappa (34; 21b, 2×4, 2×6) and skipper-opener Gautam Gambhir (4), each got a ‘life’, but the captain could not derive benefit, as he got out slogging a yorker from Praveen Kumar.
Uthappa, KKR’s leading run scorer in the last edition, departed a little later, after chipping one to fine leg.
Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell once again started off his innings with some lusty blows as he got stuck to left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma clobbering him for two back to back sixes.
Just as he looked to take the game away from the home team, English all-rounder Ravi Bopara was able to clinch his wicket as he skied one straight to long off.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a superb 10th over as he conceded only four runs. Neither Manish Pandey nor Yusuf Pathan could get him away.
He was backed up brilliantly by Praveen as he gave away only seven in the next over.
Earlier in the day, Sunrisers skipper David Warner was merciless in his treatment of the Knights’ bowling attack smashing his way to 91 off 55 balls. The knock included nine boundaries and four huge sixes.
The skipper was ably supported by his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan who made 54 off 46 balls and stitched a 130-run partnership with the Australian.
KKR fought their way back into the contest by picking three quick wickets and restricted them to a chaseable total.
Warner broke the shackles after the first three overs as he switch-hit South African spinner Johan Botha for four to mark the beginning of his aggressiveness.
The openers then started scoring runs freely. KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir introduced his leading spinner including West Indian Sunil Narine in the fourth over.
But his plan to deploy spinners upfront backfired as they could not check the flow of runs or pick up early wickets. At the half way stage, Sunrisers were 80 for no loss.
Warner finally fell to a Morne Morkel delivery in the 14th over.
Dhawan carried on the show and changed gears rapidly after having played second fiddle to Warner for much of the innings. But he perished in the penultimate over after a few trademark hits.