Kolkata Knight Riders 145 for 3 (Gill 70*, Morgan 42*) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 142 for 4 (Pandey 51, Russell 1-16, Cummins 1-19, Chakravarthy 1-25) by seven wickets
The Kolkata Knight Riders bounced back from their comprehensive defeat to the Mumbai Indians to ease past the Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets on the back of an impressive performance from their varied bowling attack, which restricted the Sunrisers to 142 for 4. That was followed by a knock of 70 from Shubman Gill to anchor the chase, and there was also a valuable contribution of 42 from Eoin Morgan, in an unbeaten 92-run partnership with Gill.
After eight matches in the tournament, it was only the second time that a chasing side clinched victory. The Sunrisers, however, had won the toss and opted to bat first – the first side so far to do that. However, that also meant that it was the seventh game in a row where the team winning the toss lost the match. The Sunrisers are now the only team to remain winless in IPL 2020.
Cummins, Chakravarthy show the way with the ball
With the Sunrisers’ best batsmen at the top of the order, the Knight Riders captain opted for an experienced new-ball pair, unlike in the game against Mumbai. Sunil Narine and Pat Cummins – who conceded 49 runs in three overs in his first match – bowled tight lines against David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, not allowing the two batsmen to assert their dominance.
Bairstow survived on the review in the fourth over after umpire Chris Gaffaney thought he had edged an attempted paddle off Cummins into the hands of Dinesh Karthik. The next ball, though, he was bowled trying drive a good-length ball that was coming in, out for 5 off 10.
Warner and Manish Pandey then consolidated, seeing out the rest of the powerplay, before Warner, then on 36, was caught and bowled in the tenth over, chipping one that went straight on from mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy – playing his first game for the Knight Riders – back to the bowler.
Wriddhiman Saha, also playing his first game of the season, joined Pandey at No. 4, and although they batted for the next eight overs, the boundaries were few and far in between. Pandey looked to accelerate and struck three fours and two sixes in his innings of 51, but was caught and bowled by Andre Russell in the 18th over while trying to get innovative with a full toss, ending a 62-run stand that came in 51 legal balls.
Mohammad Nabi hit two fours in the death overs and Saha was then run-out in the 20th for a 31-ball 30, but having conceded just 24 runs in their final three overs, the Knight Riders restricted the to 142 for 4, the third-lowest IPL total for any team that has lost four or fewer wickets in the last six seasons. Cummins conceded just 19 runs in his four overs as the Knight Riders used seven different bowlers – their premier wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav delivered just two overs.
Gill, Morgan ease KKR’s nerves after early stutter
The Sunrisers’ left-arm pacers Khaleel Ahmed and T Natarajan struck early in the chase, dismissing Sunil Narine for a duck and then Nitish Rana (for a 13-ball 26) to reduce the Knight Riders to 43 for 2 in the fifth over. That soon became 53 for 3 when Dinesh Karthik was lbw to Rashid Khan.
But, at the other end, Gill was comfortable in the middle, standing tall to cut the balls from the left-armers that angled across, or punch ones that were under his eyes. He saw off the inswingers that Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled and held his own as three wickets fell at the other end.
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When Morgan came in at No. 5, the England captain took to sweeping Rashid, surviving a few lbw counts but seemed to grow in confidence thereafter. Gill and Morgan rotated the strike in the middle overs, and Gill got his first fifty of the season by slicing a cut past point for four in the 13th over. Together the pair saw off the rest of Rashid’s spell, and then a tricky few overs from allrounder Mohammad Nabi, but as the Knight Riders inched closer to the target, Morgan produced some big shots.
He ended the 15th over by hitting Bhuvneshwar over cover for a six, then finished Rashid’s spell with a crunch through deep midwicket and, with eight to win, sealed the game by clattering Natarajan for a six over long-on and then a four past the bowler. He finished on 42 off 29 balls, while Player-of-the-Match Gill was unbeaten on a 62-ball 70.
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