Knight Riders knocks out holder Sunrisers

Chasing a simple target of 48 in six overs, after two rain interruptions and much uncertainty, KKR had slipped to 12 for three. But Gambhir steadied the ship, scoring a 19-ball-32, as KKR won with four balls to spare.

Gautam Gambhir celebrates after hitting the winning runs.

It eventually required the steady hands of Gautam Gambhir to steer Kolkata Knight Riders to victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad and into Qualifier 2 of the IPL.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chasing a simple target of 48 in six overs, after two rain interruptions and much uncertainty, KKR had slipped to 12 for three. But Gambhir steadied the ship, scoring a 19-ball-32, as KKR won with four balls to spare at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Wednesday.

Earlier, batting first, SRH made 128 in 20 overs, due in no small part to some disciplined bowling. Nathan Coulter Nile took three for 20 and Umesh Yadav two for 21 as KKR put the brakes on the batting from an early stage. Gambhir's men will now meet Mumbai Indians here on Friday for a place in the final. 

The afternoon rains had given way to a humid evening when KKR won the toss and chose to field first, with both sides making four changes each. In the face of a determined bowling effort, on a surface not conducive to shot making, SRH struggled for momentum. David Warner sought to set the tone early on, cutting Umesh Yadav over point in the first over, but the Vidarbha bowler would concede only one other boundary. Umesh removed Shikhar Dhawan for 11, as SRH limped to 39 for one in eight overs.

Warner welcomed Piyush Chawla by dumping him over mid-wicket and not long after raised his 4000th run in IPL cricket with a towering six. At the other end, Kane Williamson switched gears, unfurling two delightful strokes off Nathan Coulter-Nile. The Australian all-rounder had not played since being struck on the helmet by Pune's Daniel Christian earlier in the tournament. He was fielded here after a two-week absence and made a real impact.

Coulter-Nile removed Williamson for 24, the Kiwi driving the ball straight to Suryakumar Yadav at cover. Two balls later, Chawla struck, excising Warner for 37. The captain had prepared to pull off the back-foot but the ball slid through, crashing into middle-stump.

SRH's struggles continued as Umesh, who had been miserly in his first three overs, returned to get rid of Yuvraj Singh. Vijay Shankar hit the ball well, on one occasion depositing a googly from Chawla into the second tier. But he was caught at long-on for 22 off Coulter-Nile. The bowler claimed a third when he held an excellent return catch to dismiss Chris Jordan. 

Just as the first innings drew to a close, though, the rain came down. If even five overs could not have been bowled in the chase, a Super Over would have decided the contest, according to IPL playing conditions for the Playoffs. Failing even that, the side with a better record in the league stages – SRH in this instance – would have advanced. Fortunately for KKR, it didn't come to that as play resumed at five minutes to one.

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