Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Gautam Gambhir led from the front to knock defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a seven-wicket win and made to Qualifier 2 in a rain-interrupted eliminator clash at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.
KKR will take on Mumbai Indians on Friday at the same venue.
Chasing 48 to win in six overs after rain and wet outfield ate up a large chunk of playing time, forcing Duckworth-Lewis method to come into play, Gambhir steadied the ship after KKR were 12/3 at one stage with an unbeaten 19-ball 32.
Earlier, KKR rode on a superlative show by their bowlers to restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to 128/7 in 20 overs.
None of the Hyderabad batsmen could score a half century, with skipper David Warner managing only 37 off 35 balls as the highest score of the innings.
Nathan Coulter-Nile (3/20) was the pick of the bowlers while Umesh Yadav (2/21) continued his good show as the two-time IPL champions made the most of the slow Chinnaswamy wicket to keep Warner and company in check.
Coulter-Nile leaked just three runs from the penultimate over with Trent Boult (1/30) allowing just seven in the final over also taking the wicket of Naman Ojha (16) off the final ball.
Hyderabad got off to a sedate start, managing just 30/1 in the Powerplay. In-form Shikhar Dhawan (11; 13b; 1×4) skied a rising Umesh delivery for wicket-keeer Robin Uthappa to pouch the ball.
Warner, in red-hot form, found the fence just twice in the first six overs with Dhawan pulling Umesh for another boundary before falling to his India teammate couple of overs later.
It took the generally explosive Warner eight overs to hit the first six of the match, punishing a poor Piyush Chawla ball by rocking on to his backfoot and pulling the leg-spinner to deep midwicket. At the halfway stage, the defending champions were 61/1.
With Shah Rukh Khan in attendance, the men in purple did well to put a lid on Hyderabad’s run flow.