Kolkata Knight Riders batting depth delivers last-over win

Kolkata Knight Riders 162 for 8 (Suryakumar 60, Yusuf 36, Bhatia 2-19) beat Rising Pune Supergiants 160 for 5 (Rahane 67, Smith 31) by two wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Suryakumar Yadav struck six fours and two sixes in his 49-ball 60 © BCCI

Before Sunday, Kolkata Knight Riders had won three games out of three while bowling first. On Sunday, they chased again, won again, and went top of the table in a tournament where chasing teams had won 17 out of 20 matches. Chasing 161, they were coasting at 111 for 3 before they slumped dramatically, losing five wickets in 30 balls, and only sealed victory when Umesh Yadav struck a meaty straight six with five runs needed off the last four balls.

Knight Riders’ slump began in the 15th over, when Rajat Bhatia’s stump-to-stump line, and Yusuf Pathan’s across-the-line response, ended a 51-run stand for the fourth wicket with Suryakumar Yadav. That partnership, coming on the back of Suryakumar’s stands of 31 and 29 with Gautam Gambhir and Shakib Al Hasan, had taken Knight Riders to a position where they needed 50 off the last 34 balls, with six wickets in hand.

But when M Ashwin struck in the next over, defeating Suryakumar with a ripping googly, and particularly when Andre Russell – who struck two big sixes off Ankit Sharma in the 17th over – holed out to a slower ball from Thisara Perera, a one-sided contest turned into a thriller. Knight Riders kept in touch with the required rate with a boundary whenever they needed it, but they also kept losing wickets. In the end, they had Nos. 9 and 10 at the crease when Umesh slogged Perera high over long-on.

In his post-match interview, MS Dhoni said he was happy with Supergiants’ total of 160, and thought his spinners had given the match away by bowling too full on a slow pitch offering plenty of turn. There were six sixes hit off the Supergiants spinners, and all six came off balls that were in the slot for lofted hits.

It was a definite contrast to the way the Knight Riders spinners had operated, largely bowling just short of a good length, and extracting generous turn that made it hard to hit down the ground or against the break.

More to follow…

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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