The Second Qualifier of the IPL 2018 was played between the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the iconic Eden Gardens.
This match was perhaps the most important one for both the teams, as the winner would go on to Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai to face the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the finals of the tournament on Sunday, May 27.
KKR captain Dinesh Karthik won the all-important toss and chose to field first. SRH made three sweeping changes to their team, including dropping Manish Pandey. Deepak Hooda, Wriddhiman Saha, and Khaleel Ahmed came into the team. KKR, on the other hand, replaced Javon Searles with Shivam Mavi.
Saha and Dhawan gave SRH a slow but cautious start, as they added 56 runs for the first wicket in 7 overs. Dhawan was dismissed LBW by Kuldeep Yadav for 34 off 24 balls and Saha was stumped by Karthik off Chawla for 35 with 5 fours. Kuldeep also accounted for Kane Williamson for 3 runs.
SRH were looking in trouble at 84/3 in 11th over. Shakib (28 with 4 fours), Deepak Hooda (19) tried to change the gears, but Shakib was run out and Hooda struck out to Narine.
However, Rashid Khan proved to be their knight in shining armor, as he slammed 34* in just 10 balls with 4 sixes and 2 fours and took SRH to 174/7 in 20 overs. He was particularly severe on young Prasidh Krishna, who went for 56 runs in his four overs, including 24 runs in the last over bowled by him to Rashid.
Kuldeep Yadav’s 2/29 was the best figures from KKR bowling camp.
Sunil Narine had other plans as KKR came out to chase the target, as he flew off to 26 off 13 balls with 4 fours and 1 six. KKR were 40 in 3.2 overs when Kaul had Narine caught by Brathwaite. Nitish Rana was run out for 22 with 2 sixes and 1 four and Uthappa was bowled by Rashid. Shakib removed Karthik for 8 and then Rashid struck a killing blow to KKR, as he got Lynn LBW for 48 off31 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes.
Andre Russell and Shubman Gill were tasked with taking KKR to the target against some quality bowling from SRH spinners. However, Rashid removed the biggest threat to SRH in Russell for just 3 runs in his last over, ending with 3/19 in four overs.
Siddarth Kaul (2/32) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar did the necessary work in the final few overs.
Shubman Gill made it 19 off last over with a six off the last ball of the 19th over. Craig Brathwaite bowled the final over. Brathwaite got hit for a four first ball, but then came back to remove both Mavi and Gill in successive balls.
SRH finally won the match and booked their tickets to the IPL 2018 finals on May 27, 2018, where they will play Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the title.
SRH 174/7 (W SAHA 35; K YADAV 2/29) defeated KKR 161/9 ( C LYNN 48; R KHAN 3/19) by 13 runs