115/8 (20)
119/4 (19.4)
Kolkata Knight Riders won by 6 wickets
That is all that was written as far as this contest was concerned as a double-header weekend at the IPL draws to a close. Three teams have got the much-wanted 'Q' against their name, with four teams vying for the final spot (the Punjab Kings are still in it but their changes hang by the minutest of threads) and things are set up for a thrilling final week as far as the league stages go. Thank you so much for tuning into our coverage of this contest though - one which we hope you enjoyed as much as we did in bringing it to you. As a new week begins, do ensure to return to this platform as we bring to you the live coverage of a mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash between the Delhi Capitals and the Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Stadium tomorrow. For now though, on behalf of my good friend and fellow textpert Bala, this is Sooryanarayanan humbly reminding you to mask up and do get yourselves vaccinated in case you haven't already. Goodnight, take care and have a great week ahead!
The wicket definitely defied everybody's expectations in the second innings but even then, the valiant Sunrisers bowlers did not have enough runs to play with. What if Kane Williamson hadn't taken that risky single - would he have taken them to a score that could have made life tougher for KKR? That is a case of what could have been but take nothing away from what has been a largely dominating display by the Knight Riders, with a collective bowling effort setting things up for them. And when the situation demanded it, Shubman Gill ensured that he was the man who would stand up and take control of it. A win in their final encounter should do the job for KKR given their excellent net run-rate although the Mumbai Indians and the Rajasthan Royals do have matters in their own hands as well at least to a reasonable extent. As for the Sunrisers, they couldn't play party poopers tonight but they do have two more opportunities for the same as they seek to bow out with a couple of victories.
Shubman Gill (Player of the Match): For us it was really important to keep wickets in hand. When the balls and the runs were closer to each other we had to go for it and that was the talk during the timeout. You see the wicket and tend to have your matchup. It wasn't easy to hit the spinners on that wicket. I was targeting the shorter side of the boundary and they were bowling length balls and the leg-side was the shorter side. I didn't have too many runs under my belt and in a low-scoring match one bad shot can make it tough with the new batter coming in. Playing with my wrists came to me naturally growing up. On a slow wicket without much pace, facing a pacer bowling at 140 clicks is probably the matchup you look at and that's what I did.
Eoin Morgan (Kolkata Knight Riders Captain): It was a scrap. The wicket played slower than we thought it would. Yes it swings early in the Powerplay but that's expected here in Dubai. But I thought it was sluggish if anything. We had to adapt well and I thought we did that really well. Good chase, I thought Shubman batted really well. (On the balance of the side with Shakib coming in) Massive. The strength and depth in our squad to call upon someone like Shakib is a huge luxury to have and he was excellent. We've had our group initially assuming that we would be playing in India and now we've had to move again after half the tournament in India. We have a reasonable composition of a side. (Eyes on the playoffs?) We are firmly focused on playing each game at a time. The guys are standing up and making important contributions. Hopefully we can make it happen on Thursday. Playing on a slower wicket is a challenge in itself and it should continue to slow down going forward.
Dinesh Karthik (Kolkata Knight Riders): It was a real good game of cricket. At the halfway mark I knew it would be a slightly tricky chase but it was a real good game that must have been enjoyed by everyone watching it. (On managing to hit one straight down the ground first ball) I was practicing a lot while doing commentary. When you watch from far you get an idea... nah I'm just kidding (laughs) - it was just one of those days it came off. We have to give a lot of credit to Nitish Rana who it seemed like was playing second fiddle to Shubman Gill but he complemented him really well instead of matching him shot for shot. When the time came of course he played his shots and made it easy for me in the end.
Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad Captain): We could have got 150 runs to try and strangle the game. Tough work with the ball game going deep. Batting unit need to try and identify a good score without going too hard. We have been working hard but it hasn't been paying off. Maybe pushing too hard. When something like this happens, you go back to the drawing board. When we got to the last three overs with the bat, we wanted to have a crack at it. In hindsight, more partnerships. Surface has acted a little differently each time. That's part and parce of the game. We need to identify it quickly and work out a total. (On Umran Malik) We have been facing him in the nets. Special talent. Young guy runs in and goes hard. Chance to get a run tonight. Special occasion for him.
It wasn't as easy a run chase as one would have anticipated and the Sunrisers Hyderabad surely pushed the Knight Riders to the hilt but with the ice-cool Dinesh Karthik at the crease towards the end, the job was done and KKR add two more points to take a further step closer towards sealing qualification into the playoffs!

Defending a total that was considerably under par, Bhuvneshwar Kumar extracted some extravagant swing early on as he, in the company of Jason Holder, did exceedingly well to keep the opening batters on a leash. Umran Malik cranked up the speedometers, clocking 150 clicks in his very first over and with his colleagues keeping things tight, it was clear that the Sunrisers were up for a fight.

Venkatesh Iyer didn't quite have an outing to remember as he perished inside the Powerplay. With Rahul Tripathi then pulling one straight into the hands of short mid-wicket, SRH used a mixture of searing pace, change ups as well as spin with nagging lengths to stifle the Knight Riders who crawled their way to a score of 44 at the halfway mark.

Shubman Gill then pulled the trigger by taking the attack to the opposition and with a number of short deliveries fed at him, he enjoyed a full buffet with an extravagant array of short-arm pulls en route to a half-century laced with 10 boundaries but more importantly, one that displayed immense character. Gill carried on and eased the pressure on his side before holing out off the bowling of Siddarth Kaul.

Nitish Rana endured a struggle of some kind after a couple of vital contributions prior to this game but with Dinesh Karthik taking control of the chase, the veteran ensured that he got the job done in the final over, taking the Knight Riders across the finish line.

Jason Holder was the pick of the SRH bowlers again with a couple of wickets although he did come under the pump with Shubman Gill switching gears. Rashid Khan and Siddarth Kaul were economical even as they picked up a wicket apiece, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent down a tidy spell with some considerable movement in the Powerplay. But the essay will probably be remembered for a certain Umran Malik, who certainly sent the speeds skyrocketing past the 150 kph mark as well on a couple of occasions! At the end of the day though, SRH just didn't have enough runs to come out on the right side of it, resulting in their 10th loss of the season.
Fine way to seal the game and it is Dinesh Karthik who does so with a thump over mid-wicket. There were a few nerves but at the end of it all, the Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 6 wickets with 2 deliveries to spare!
19.4 Siddarth Kaul to Dinesh Karthik, FOUR! What a shot to seal the game! Short ball from Kaul. Karthik pulls it right out of the screws and the ball rockets away to the mid-wicket fence
The scores are level. Get the field up surely?
19.3 Siddarth Kaul to Eoin Morgan, slower ball short of a length outside off. Cuts it away to sweeper cover for one. Scores level
Morgan wanted the second run and there was a fumble as well but DK was content with the single.
19.2 Siddarth Kaul to Dinesh Karthik, slower ball on a length angling in. Karthik clips it off the pads to square leg. Morgan wants the second but Karthik sends him back
Sweeper cover, third man, fine leg, square leg and long on are the men hanging back near the fence.
19.1 Siddarth Kaul to Dinesh Karthik, full ball on the off-stump. Absolutely creams the drive to the fielder at mid-off. Can't get a single
Siddarth Kaul to bowl the final over of the game. He will bowl over the wicket.
We are onto a final over finish then with KKR rubbing off 7 runs off their deficit in the penultimate over. It is a matter of that one big hit hereon and while the game seems a lost cause, SRH deserve all the appreciation coming their way for making a match out of this seemingly dead contest.

KKR need 3 runs off the final over!
113 /4 score
cricket bat icon Dinesh Karthik *
13 (9)
cricket bat icon Eoin Morgan
1 (1)
cricket ball icon Bhuvneshwar Kumar
0 /20
18.6 Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Dinesh Karthik, yorker outside the off-stump. Karthik digs it out to point and scampers through for a single
Seems like the light came in the way of Umran Malik's vision in the deep there.
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