Jittery Travellers: Sunrisers Suffer Second Straight Away Defeat, by 17 Runs to Knight Riders

Match report

Kolkata Knight Riders successfully defended a modest total of 172 and left Sunrisers win-less in five visits to the Eden Gardens. With their 17-run loss to KKR, David Warner and co. have now lost their last two matches, having begun the season with back-to-back wins against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions.

Spinners do the job for Knight Riders

Chasing 173, Warner and Shikhar Dhawan gave their team a solid foundation by scoring 45 runs in the powerplay overs. But the 14th match of IPL 2017 turned on its head with the introduction of part-time off-spinner Yusuf Pathan, who struck in his very first over (7th of the innings), dismissing S Dhawan for 23.

From here on, Gambhir got his frontline spinners (Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine) to bowl in tandem and strangulated Warner in particular. The Sunrisers’s skipper was not at all comfortable in playing Kuldeep and with each dot ball, the required run rate started to soar. From the 7th to the 10th over, Sunrisers managed to score only 13 runs and lost both their openers, leaving themselves needing 114 runs from the final 10 overs for victory.

The visitors got very little contribution from their middle order and only Yuvraj Singh looked like he could drag his team closer to KKR’s 172 and maybe overhaul it. But amid the pressure of having to keep up with the run rate, the stylish left-hander holed out at long-on off Chris Woakes’s bowling.

The result of the 14th match became predictable in the final quarter of the SRH innings and Knight Riders, rather efficiently, closed the match out.

The willing gambler

Gambhir’s tactical nous and willingness to gamble at the right moments are at least worth a mention. Because, Sunrisers had gotten off to a good start through their openers and looked comfortable against the pace of Umesh Yadav and Trent Boult. But the introduction of Yusuf Pathan post the powerplay turned out to be a masterstroke and KKR didn’t look back after they got this breakthrough. Getting Yusuf into the attack was probably a no-brainer against two left-handers, but the Pathan senior had not bowled before this season and another captain might have been a little reluctant.

The brilliance of Bhuvneshwar

For the Sunrisers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar enjoyed another great outing with the ball, taking 3/20 in his four overs. Bowling at the start and during the end overs of the innings, the UP seamer not only choked up the runs but also struck crucial blows that limited the hosts to posting only 172/6 in their 20 overs. Bowling the 18th and 20th overs of the Knight Riders’s innings, the 27-year-old seamer conceded only 13 runs and from 150/4 at the end of 17 overs, the hosts will have been disappointed to only score 22 off the last three.

Two of Bhuvneshwar’s three wickets came off yorkers, to which Sunil Narine and Colin de Grandhomme had no answer. He should have had another to his tally of three wickets, but an umpiring howler, which we’ve become accustomed to even during these early stages of IPL 2017, saved Robin Uthappa and denied Bhuvneshwar and Sunrisers of what will have been a potentially match-changing wicket.

Let off the hook

Having asked Knight Riders to bat after winning the toss, David Warner will have been relatively happy with the collective performance of his bowlers, who were a little unfortunate as well with the umpiring decisions. The fifth and sixth bowlers for KKR, Moises Henriques (26) and Bipul Sharma (20) went for a lot of runs in their four overs. And, after making a good start to the proceedings through their bowlers, Sunrisers let the match drift away during the middle phase of the KKR innings, while two Karnataka batsmen (Uthappa and Manish Pandey) got into their groove.

Uthappa and Pandey redeem KKR

Uthappa, despite being very fortunate on this evening, played a vital hand of 68 for Knight Riders. He found the boundaries on a consistent basis and chose the right bowlers to score runs off. Pandey played second fiddle to his state team-mate during their 77-run, third wicket partnership, but after Uthappa was dismissed in the 15th over, Pandey assumed the role of an aggressor and struck the ball crisply. From Sunrisers’ perspective, getting the wicket of Pandey was very important in the context of the match and as a frontline seamer, Bhuvneshwar provided his team a really important wicket in the 18th over.

Sunil Narine, opening the batting for Kolkata for the second match in a row, failed to have the kind of impact he had on Kings XI Punjab, though the Sunrisers’s bowling attack is a whole lot better than Kings XI’s. Gambhir failed with the bat once again with KKR batting first, and with their openers dismissed in quick succession, the hosts were in a dangerous situation at 40/2 in the sixth over.

Knight Riders (KKR) v Sunrisers (SRH), 14th Match Scorecard

Playing XIs

KKR: 1. Gautam Gambhir, 2. Sunil Narine, 3. Robin Uthappa, 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Suryakumar Yadav, 7. Colin de Grandhomme, 8. Kuldeep Yadav, 9. Trent Boult, 10. Chris Woakes, and 11. Umesh Yadav

SRH: 1. David Warner, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Ben Cutting, 4. Yuvraj Singh, 5. Deepak Hooda, 6. Naman Ojha, 7. Bipul Sharma, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Rashid Khan, 10. Ashish Nehra, and 11. Moises Henriques


KKR: 172/6 (Uthappa 68 and Pandey 46; Bhuvneshwar 3/20)
SRH: 155/7 (Yuvraj 26; Woakes 2/49 and Narine 1/18)

Result: Knight Riders beat Sunrisers by 17 wickets in the 14th match of IPL 2017. Robin Uthappa was awarded the man-of-the-match for his knock of 68 (39).

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Innings (toss: Sunrisers, who chose to bowl first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Sunil Narine bowled Bhuvneshwar 6 (9) 1 0 66.67
Gautam Gambhir bowled Rashid 15 (16) 2 0 93.75
Robin Uthappa caught Rashid, bowled Cutting 68 (39) 5 4 174.35
Manish Pandey caught Warner, bowled Bhuvneshwar 46 (35) 3 2 131.42
Yusuf Pathan not out 21 (15) 1 1 140.00
Suryakumar Yadav caught N Ojha, bowled Nehra 4 (3) 1 0 133.33
Colin de Grandhomme bowled Bhuvneshwar 0 (2) 0 0 0.00
Chris Woakes not out 1 (1) 0 0 100.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav and Trent Boult
Extras: 11 (10 wides and 1 leg bye)
KKR’s total: 172/6 in 20 overs, at 8.60 runs per over
KKR’s fall of wickets: 10/1 (Narine, 2.2), 40/2 (Gambhir, 5.4), 117/3 (Uthappa, 14.2), 153/4 (Pandey, 17.4), 163/5 (Suryakumar, 18.5), and 170/6 (de Grandhomme, 19.4)
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4 12 20 3 5.50
Ashish Nehra 4 11 35 1 8.75
Ben Cutting 4 3 41 1 10.25
Rashid Khan 4 7 29 1 7.25
Moises Henriques 2 2 26 0 13.00
Bipul Sharma 2 6 20 0 10.00
Sunrisers Innings (target: 173 runs in 20 overs, at 8.65 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
David Warner caught Woakes, bowled Kuldeep 26 (30) 4 0 86.66
Shikhar Dhawan caught de Grandhomme, bowled Yusuf 23 (22) 4 0 104.54
Moises Henriques caught and bowled Woakes 13 (10) 2 0 130.00
Yuvraj Singh caught Rishi Dhawan (sub), bowled Woakes 26 (16) 2 2 162.50
Deepak Hooda stumped Uthappa, bowled Narine 13 (7) 1 1 185.71
Ben Cutting caught de Grandhomme, bowled Boult 15 (10) 1 1 150.00
Naman Ojha not out 11 (11) 0 0 100.00
Bipul Sharma not out 21 (14) 2 1 150.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan and Ashish Nehra)
Extras: 7 (4 wides, 2 byes and 1 leg bye)
SRH’s total: 155/6 in 20 overs, at 7.75 runs per over
SRH’s fall of wickets: 46/1 (S Dhawan, 6.4), 59/2 (Warner, 9.5), 65/3 (Henriques, 10.4), 96/4 (Hooda, 13.2), 112/5 (Yuvraj, 14.5), and 129/6 (Cutting, 17.1)
Knight Riders Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Umesh Yadav 3 10 27 0 9.00
Trent Boult 4 10 33 1 8.25
Sunil Narine 4 10 18 1 4.50
Kuldeep Yadav 4 12 23 1 5.75
Yusuf Pathan 1 4 2 1 2.00
Chris Woakes 4 5 49 2 12.25

Your opinion...