The Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 17 runs in their encounter at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.
Defending a target of 173, the Kolkata bowlers did a splendid job to restrict the Sunrisers to just 155/6 in their 20 overs.
West Indian spinner Sunil Narine was definitely the key for the hosts as he conceded just 18 runs from his four overs. His final two overs were especially impressive as he gave away just three runs in each over when the required run-rate was over 12.
Narine was well supported by Indian left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav who did a number on Sunrisers skipper David Warner. Kuldeep bowled a total of 13 balls to the Australian opener, with nine of them being dots including the ball that took the important wicket which dented a huge blow in the hopes of the visitors.
Yuvraj Singh threatened to make a match out of it as he looked in fluent touch once again, but his innings was cut short on 26 when he mistimed a Chris Woakes delivery to long on.
Woakes was expensive, going for 49 runs from his four overs, but he did manage to pick up two wickets while Trent Boult and Yusuf Pathan accounted for one scalp apiece.
Earlier in the day, Kolkata continued with the ploy of opening the batting with Sunil Narine. But this time around, the tactic was not successful as Narine was bowled by a Bhuvneshwar Kumar yorker for just six.
Robin Uthappa lived a charmed life during his innings of 68 which came from just 39 deliveries. The right-handed batsman looked to have been caught behind off the first delivery he faced but was given not out.
Later in Uthappa’s innings, there was more controversy when the third umpire overturned a caught-behind decision when the soft signal was out. The Sunrisers camp were clearly not happy with the call and coach Tom Moody looked furious on the sidelines.
Uthappa found able support in the form of Ranji Trophy teammate Manish Pandey as the duo added 77 runs for the third wicket. Pandey fell just four runs short of his second fifty in this season’s IPL.
Bhuvneshwar was brilliant at the start of the innings as well as in the death overs for the Sunrisers, picking up three wickets and conceding just 20 runs from his four overs while Ashish Nehra, Ben Cutting, and Rashid Khan took a wicket apiece.
With this win, the Knight Riders move to the top of the table for the time being. They have six points from four matches and a slightly better run-rate than the Mumbai Indians who also have three wins from as many games.
Gautam Gambhir and co. travel to the capital city to face the Delhi Daredevils next while the Sunrisers host Kings XI Punjab at home. Both matches are scheduled for April 17.
Kolkata Knight Riders 172/6, 20 overs [Uthappa 68, Pandey 46, Bhuvneshwar 3/20] beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 155/6, 20 overs [Yuvraj 26, Warner 26, Woakes 2/49] by 17 runs.
Man of the Match – Robin Uthappa