Rashid leaves Knight Riders in the shade as Sunrisers reach IPL final
Rashid Khan starred with both bat and ball as Sunrisers Hyderabad secured a place in the Indian Premier League final with a 14-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders.
Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid claimed 3-19 as the Sunrisers - who came into the second qualifier on a four-game losing streak - successfully defended a total of 174-7 at Eden Gardens.
Yet the teenager's most telling contribution came earlier in the game when he smashed an unbeaten 34 off just 10 deliveries, reigniting his side's faltering innings with a flurry of late boundaries.
Rashid also had an impact in the field, playing a part in the run out of Nitish Rana and taking a pair of catches in the deep, as Kolkata slumped from 93-2 at the halfway stage to finish on 160-9.
While they are left to lament a missed opportunity on home soil, Hyderabad move on to face Chennai Super Kings on Sunday to decide who will be crowned champions at the end of the 2018 season.
SUNRISERS SEE THE LIGHT
Openers Wriddhiman Saha and Shikhar Dhawan made 35 and 34 respectively, sharing a stand of 56 for the first wicket, as Hyderabad made steady - if unspectacular - progress before suffering a batting collapse.
The usually reliable Kane Williamson made just three and with Shakib Al Hasan unfortunately run out at the non-striker's end for 28, the Sunrisers slipped to 138-7 with just 11 balls remaining.
However, Rashid changed the complexion of the game after an early reprieve. His second ball saw him slice a chance out to deep backward point, only for Piyush Chawla to let the ball slip through his hands and over the rope for six.
The drop proved costly as Rashid took a liking to Prasidh Krishna at the death, hitting the seamer for two more maximums as the final over of the innings went for 24 runs.
Always felt @rashidkhan_19 was a good spinner but now I wouldn’t hesitate in saying he is the best spinner in the world in this format. Mind you, he’s got some batting skills as well. Great guy.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) May 25, 2018
CAUGHT IN A SPIN
Despite suffering a disappointing finish with the ball, the Knight Riders appeared to be cruising to victory thanks to a fast start in their run chase.
Sunil Narine's 13-ball cameo plundered 26 runs and while he perished in the powerplay, opening partner Chris Lynn kept Kolkata on course, the Australian right-hander hitting a pair of sixes to reach 48.
Crucially, though, Lynn fell just two deliveries after the departure of captain Dinesh Karthik, trapped lbw as he attempted to sweep a straight delivery from the influential Rashid.
The same bowler also accounted for the dangerous Andre Russell in a hurry before holding on in the deep to dismiss Shubman Gill for 30 in the final over, in the process sealing a showdown between the top two in the regular season for the title.