IPL 2018: Williamson, bowlers make it three out of three for SRH

There is no stopping Sunrisers Hyderabad. After winning both its home games, it beat Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets at the Eden Gardens.

Williamson starred with the bat for SRH.   -  K.R. DEEPAK

There is no stopping Sunrisers Hyderabad. After winning both its home games, it beat Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets at the Eden Gardens.

Hyderabad got off to a flying start, with the local boy, Wriddhiman Saha, setting the tone with a quickfire 24 off 15 deliveries.

Despite Sunil Narine, Knights’ spin ace, getting rid of Saha and Shikhar Dhwan—who scored seven in as many deliveries—in quick succession, Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson kept his team on course with a 44-ball 50.

Williamson stitched together crucial partnerships, first with Shakib Al Hasan and later with Deepak Hooda, to put the pressure back on the home side.

If Williamson held the fort at one end, Shakib—who previously played for the Knight Riders— scored 27 in 21 balls.

HOW THEY FARED

 

The Top Buy: KKR opener Chris Lynn, signed for a whopping Rs. 9.6 Crore, impressed with the bat. He scored 49 off 34 balls.

The Rookie: Sunrisers Hyderabad leg-spinner Rashid Khan, 19, had an off-day with the ball. He went wicketless, conceding 31 off his four overs.

KKR’s Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson—who returned to the side from injury—removed the Hyderabad captain to raise hopes of a comeback.

But Deepak Hooda (not out 5), along with  Yusuf Pathan (unbeaten on 17) - who also played for the Knight Riders - sealed it with a six.

Earlier, having inserted Kolkata in to bat, SRH pace ace Bhuvneshwar Kumar—who returned from an injury—snapped up three wickets for 26 runs.

The host tweaked its batting order, promoting Robin Uthappa in the opening slot, instead of Narine. But the move backfired as Uthappa looked off-colour. With Kumar nipping out Uthappa cheaply, the onus was on Chris Lynn and Nitish Rana to mitigate the damage. The duo struck a 39-run partnership for the second wicket, though the momentum was lost due to a rain-stoppage of 58 minutes.

Rana (18), however, fell after resumption, thanks to a stunning catch by Manish Pandey at point. Lynn fell one short of a deserved half-century; Shakib completing a fine catch off his own bowling. He returned figures of two for 26.

For Hyderabad, however, its star Afghan spinner, Rashid Khan,  went wicketless.

With this defeat—it’s second in the season—Knight Riders finds itself in a spot. After conceding a last-minute defeat against Chennai Super Kings earlier this week, the Knights replaced under-fire R. Vinay Kumar with young gun Shivam Mavi.

But Mavi - member of India's World Cup winning U-19 team - conceded 10 runs in an over. The decision to field another U-19 talent, Shubman Gill, failed as well. The Indian vice-captain could manage only three before being dismissed by Kumar.

On a day when nothing went in favour of the host, Sunrisers clinched its first victory at the iconic Eden Gardens.