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IPL 2017 Eliminator, SRH vs KKR: Piyush Chawla outsmarting David Warner is SK Turning Point of the match

Wily leg-spinner trumps Sunrisers skipper to turn the game in favour of KKR.

David Warner Piyush Chawla
Chawla outsmarted Warner by finding the perfect length and getting one to straighten

For a lengthy period of time, it appeared as if a washout was on the cards and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were beginning to think about packing their bags. However, the rain finally eased off and the impeccable drainage system at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru provided Gautam Gambhir’s team with a small chase which they duly completed without too many hassles.

But, the turning point in the match had come much earlier. At a time when they badly needed him to swell the total, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) lost their skipper David Warner to the wiles of leg-spinner Piyush Chawla during the middle-overs. Eventually, the dismissal of the Orange Cap holder proved to have a major impact on their fortunes. 

Here’s how the events transpired in the entertaining encounter.

Slow progress on a sluggish pitch

As was the case in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s home games during this season, the curators continued to roll out a slow and low pitch. With rain on the horizon, Gambhir won an extremely vital toss.

Umesh Yadav and Trent Boult utilised the new ball to significant effect. Even though they could only account for only Shikhar Dhawan during the first five overs, the duo heaped the pressure on the Sunrisers by keeping things quiet.

Smartly alternating between seam and spin, Gambhir did not allow the batsmen to break the shackles. His bowling changes, as well as field placements, were spot on. Meanwhile, his counterpart was sizing up the conditions on offer.

Unlike his usual free-flowing self, Warner remained cautious this time around. Perhaps, the pressure of the eliminator could have weighed on his mind. Nevertheless, he preferred to get himself completely acquainted to the pace of the surface before unleashing the extravagant shots. 

A long hop from Chawla was met with disdain by the aggressive left-hander. The rare loose delivery allowed him to force the initiative. At the other end, Kane Williamson got himself going by capitalising on Nathan Coulter-Nile’s erroneous length. 

Extra Cover: David Warner’s innovative tennis forehand shot is the SK Play of the Day

Chawla deceives Warner

When Warner dispatched Sunil Narine into the long-on stands, it seemed like the Australian was finally starting to cut loose. But, Coulter-Nile removed Williamson in the next over to wrestle back the advantage for the Knight Riders.

Chawla proceeded to entice the southpaw with a tossed up delivery. But, the response was cautious rather than cavalier. Sensing Warner’s overt reliance on the back foot pull, he pushed his length only a touch forward at a quicker pace.

Not realising the change in the bowler’s approach, Sunrisers’ captain rocked back in a bid to get into optimum position to swat the ball away towards the deep mid wicket region. Unbeknownst to him, the deceptive wrist-spinner got the ball to straighten which turned just enough to dislodge the middle-stump. This was the first instance of Chawla procuring Warner’s wicket.

The batsman fumed at himself for losing concentration at the wrong moment. Needless to say, the Knight Riders were delighted to see the back of the dangerous 30-year old who had it in him to do considerable damage in the death overs.

Extra Cover: 5 memorable moments from SRH vs KKR in the eliminator that don’t fade away

A frail finish for Sunrisers

With their leader back in the dugout, SRH struggled to counter the motivated bowling attack and could only meander along. Yadav returned in the end overs to get rid of the experienced Yuvraj Singh to aggravate their situation.

Vijay Shankar attempted to breathe some energy into the innings by wielding the long handle. The right-hander smashed a couple of boundaries and a massive six off Chawla. Despite his cameo towards the business stage, the Sunrisers were able to muster a below par total of 128 for the loss of seven wickets. 

Following a prolonged rain delay, the Knight Riders were given a revised target of 48 from six overs. Riding on Gambhir’s unbeaten 32, they cruised past the finish line with four balls to spare. On the other hand, the defending champions ran out of steam when it mattered the most.

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