SRH sets up final date with CSK

Kolkata: Sunrisers Hyderabad set up a date with the Chennai Super Kings in the VIVO IPL 2018 Final after they defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders in the penultimate match of the season. In Qualifier 2 played at the Eden Gardens on Friday, the Sunrisers batted first, posted 174-7, and then restricted their opponents Knight Riders to 161-9 to win by 13 runs. Rashid Khan had the perfect match; the teenager from Afghanistan made crucial contributions in all three departments — batting, bowling and fielding, and had the biggest influence on his team’s victory.
Put in to bat, the Sunrisers openers WriddhimanSaha and Shikhar Dhawan didn’t have too many opportunities to free their arms early on; the pair respected the testing spell from the KKR bowlers. Dhawan was the first to cut loose; the slightest error in line or length, he converted to boundaries. The opening partnership had swelled to 56, at which point Kuldeep Yadav struck twice in one over to trigger a mini-collapse. Dhawan (34 from 24 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) was the first to be dismissed — leg before attempting a sweep, after which Kane Williamson edged one to the wicket-keeper.
A little later, the other well-set batsman Saha (35 from 27 balls) would be stumped off the bowling of Piyush Chawla, and SRH had slipped to 84-3.
Shakib al Hasan and Deepak Honda resisted briefly before the former was run out backing up too far at the non-striker’s end — Kuldeep Yadav getting a touch on the ball hit straight down the ground.
The reputed big-hitters — Hooda, Yusuf Pathan and Carlos Brathwaite — couldn’t do too much damage and the Sunrisers were staring at the possibility of finishing with a total under 160. But Rashid Khan, batting at number eight, feasted on the inexperienced KKR bowlers at the death, helped himself to a career-best 34 (off just 10 balls) and took his team to a total of 174.
The Sunrisers, who had only managed 45 and 68 in the first two periods of play, added 61 runs in the last five overs to get to 174-7; they scored 14, 18 & 24 off the last three overs bowled by Prasidh Krishna and ShivamMavi.
Not surprisingly, the three spinners were KKR’s best bowlers. Between them, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep returned combined figures of 11-0-75-4.
The Knight Riders got off to a brisk start with Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine taking on the Sunrisers bowlers early on; the latter was severe on Bhuvneshwar Kumar, hitting him for three fours and a six in the third over.
After Narine (26 from 13 balls) holed out to Carlos Brathwaite in the fourth over, Lynn and Nitish Rana ensured the scoring rate was maintained in a 47-run second-wicket partnership. Their association ended when Rana (22 from 16 balls) was run out in the ninth over.