With their back to the wall, Kolkata Knight Riders needed a special innings to not just win the match but also to ensure that they finish second in the overall points table of IPL-7.
And who better than Yusuf Pathan to do the needful. The dashing batsman slammed a 22-ball 72 — including hitting Dale Steyn for 26 in one over — to help Kolkata beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets with 33 balls to spare at the packed Eden Gardens on Saturday.
Needing 161 in 15.2 overs to qualify for the second place in the qualifiers — Punjab top the table with 20 points — KKR achieved the target in 14.3 overs. With this win, KKR has overtaken Chennai Super Kings on net runrate.
Pathan slammed 26 runs in Steyn’s over — 13th of the match. The over read 4, 6, 6, 4, 4, 2. After hitting another six in the next over of leg-spinner Karn Sharma, Pathan attempted another but doled out a catch to long on fielder Shikhar Dhawan. However, Pathan, who was dropped by S Anirudha off Sharma when on zero, had done his job by then.
Later, Shah Rukh Khan, co-owner of Kolkata, could not stop from expressing his joy and praised the Sr Pathan for his knock.
“YYYYYYUUUUUUUSSSSSSUUUUUUUFFFFFFFFFF……There is no other PATHAN….nobody. We love u! Love u. Love u,” tweeted Shah Rukh.
Earlier, Robin Uthappa continued his fine form and cracked an important 30-ball 41 to lay a strong platform along with skipper Gautam Gambhir (28). Later, Pathan’s extraordinary knock sealed the deal.
A late flourish from skipper Darren Sammy (29) guided Sunrisers Hyderabad to a competitive 160 for seven. After being put in, Shikhar Dhawan (29 from 31 balls) and Naman Ojha (26 from 23 balls) shared a quick 64-run stand from 46 balls to begin recovery after losing David Warner (4) in the first over.
Later SRH skipper, who got a reprieve on zero when butterfingered Yusuf dropped a sitter, slammed a 19-ball 29 to push the total past 150-run mark.
Yusuf not only dropped Sammy at long-on boundary off Shakib but he took the ball past the boundary rope for a six. Sammy gained confidence and struck another six in an over that yielded 15 runs to push SRH’s run-rate. KKR gave away 21 extras, while pacer Umesh Yadav was most expensive conceding 32 from his three overs. Morne Morkel (1/32) was the pick of the bowlers but it was the extras that hurt the cause of KKR.
—(With Agency Inputs)
KKR WON BY FOUR WICKETS