Nathan Coulter-Nile’s three wickets helped Kolkata Knight Riders defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets (by D/L/S method) in a rain-curtailed Indian Premier League [IPL] Eliminator at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Coulter-Nile came back into the side in place of Colin de Grandhomme and it proved to be a masterful selection as he dismissed Kane Williamson, Vijay Shankar and Chris Jordan to restrict Hyderabad to a modest total of 128-7 in their 20 overs.
The Australian fast bowler, after returning from a long injury layoff, has had an outstanding IPL season, taking 14 wickets in seven matches at an average of 15.21 this season.
After being put into bat, a slow start didn’t help Sunrisers’ cause as they could manage only 30 runs and lost the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan in the Powerplay.
David Warner and Williamson, then put on a 50-run stand for the second wicket, but that also took its time as the partnership lasted for 46 deliveries. Warner played an uncharacteristic knock before he was bowled by Piyush Chawla, having scored 37 from 35 balls which included two fours and two sixes.
The slog overs weren’t very fruitful for the Hyderabad-based franchise as well as they could manage just 30 runs in the last five overs.
Umesh Yadav was also impressive with the ball, picking up two wickets for 21 runs in his four overs.
A downpour followed at the mid-innings break which stopped play for more than three hours and when the rains finally stopped, Kolkata were given a revised target of 48 to win from six overs.
Although the match situation was heavily in favour of the batting side, the Knight Riders got off to a shaky start - losing three wickets with just 12 runs on the board.
Kolkata tried a new opening combination with Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn coming out to bat at the top of the order, but the duo lasted just a couple of deliveries each and managed only seven runs between them.
The move to send Yusuf Pathan at number three also didn’t work as the big-hitting batsman was run-out for a golden duck.
Gambhir was still at the crease, though, and he used all his experience during his unbeaten 19-ball 32 to guide Kolkata to Qualifier 2 in which they will meet Mumbai Indians on Friday.
After the match, Gambhir was full of praise for his bowlers for setting up the win for the Kolkata-based franchise.
"A lot of credit needs to go to the bowlers. They set the game for us. The way they hung in there, the kind of batting line-up that Sunrisers have, they had to dig deep," he said.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 128-7, 20 overs [Warner 37, Williamson 24, Coulter-Nile 3-20, Umesh 2-21] lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 48-3, 5.2 overs [Gambhir 32*, Jordan 1-9, Bhuvneshwar 1-11] by seven wickets [D/L/S method].
Player of the Match - Nathan Coulter-Nile.