All-round Rashid steers SRH into final

The Afghan stars with bat and ball to help Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 13 runs in Qualifier 2.

Jubilant: Rashid Khan dismissed Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell to break the back of KKR.   -  K. R. Deepak

Afghan star Rashid Khan's rare all-round showing outwitted Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) recorded a memorable 14-run victory to reach the Indian Premier League final for the second time at the Eden Gardens here on Friday.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Inserted in, SRH rode on Rashid's late charge to post a challenging 174 for seven and relied on the teenage sensation's superb show of leg-spin bowling and excellent fielding to restrict KKR for 160 for nine in Qualifier 2.

Rashid, who has been troubling batsmen with his bowling throughout the season, delivered a surprise punch on the home side when he clubbed 34 runs off 10 balls to take SRH to a fighting total. The powerful Afghan hammered two sixes off Mavi over extra-cover in the 19th over and showcased more aggression to extract 24 runs — including two fours and as many sixes, picked up magnificently over long-on and backward square-leg — in the next by Prasidh Krishna.

Rashid's bravado did much damage to Prasidh's confidence and KKR's game plan.

Late assault

The host, which had gained from its spin trio's parsimonious effort, conceding just 55 runs off eight middle overs, gave away 48 in the last three to make the target stiffer.

SRH had a decent start thanks to Shikhar Dhawan's fine stroke play during the field restriction. Dhawan's opening partner Wriddhiman Saha, who made a comeback after 18 days, got a 'life' on five before finding his touch and contributing an important 35 off 27 deliveries.

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The openers gathered 56 runs before Kuldeep Yadav struck in his first ball, finding Dhawan plumb in front. Four balls later, he foxed SRH skipper Kane Williamson with a googly.

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Saha departed due to Karthik's swift acrobatic work behind the stumps. Shakib Al Hasan's praiseworthy 24-ball 28 ended prematurely, when the Bangladeshi cricketer was unluckily run out at the non-striker's end, as KKR maintained its control till the 17th over.

Rapid start

KKR began its reply on the back of Sunil Narine's familiar fireworks. The southpaw raced to a 13-ball 26, plundering three fours and a six in Bhuvneshwar Kumar's second over, to warm things up and Chris Lynn selected the off-side to play some of his trademark shots as KKR garnered 67 for one in the Power Play overs.

Siddharth Kaul removed Narine but Lynn and Nitish Rana (22 off 16) put up 47 runs in quick time. The wicket of Rana, who was run out while trying to complete a double, allowed SRH to wrest control.

Tables turn

Rashid's brilliant display of his favourite trade, combining precision with subtle variation, proved crucial. Robin Uthappa was bowled while reverse-sweeping, Lynn was trapped in front and Andre Russell was caught at slip in Rashid's second spell of three overs.

Shakib complemented by bamboozling Karthik as KKR lost four wickets in five overs and lost the plot.