Yusuf cameo lifts KKR to 167/7 against Sunrisers
Yusuf Pathan’s late cameo lifted Kolkata Knight Riders to a fighting 167 for seven after a middle-order collapse in their Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match against Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Monday.
Asked to bat, KKR were in trouble as none of their top batsman could make it big, but Pathan held fort and struck an unbeaten 30 off 19 balls to give the total respectability.
Karn Sharma and Bipul Sharma, included in place of Ashish Reddy, took full advantage of the slow nature of the pitch, and were instrumental in KKR’s slide after a flying start given by the duo of Robin Uthappa (30) and Gautam Gambhir (31).
From 55 for no loss in the first six overs the hosts were reduced to 86 for three in 12 with the Sharma duo conceding just 52 runs among them in eight overs while taking the crucial wickets of Gambhir, Uthappa and Andre Russell (1).
Left-arm spinner Bipul (1/23) also ran out Manish Pandey (33) as the Karnataka recruit once again failed to convert the start.
The spin duo of Karn and Bipul bowled tidily and a flurry of dot balls followed after the dismissal of the KKR skipper.
The tight bowling was aided by some smart fielding with SRH skipper David Warner leading the show with a stunning flying catch at cover to dismiss Robin Uthappa (30).
Aware of Pandey’s weakness against spin, Warner persisted with the Sharma duo from both ends and almost dismissed the Karnataka recruit with Eoin Morgan’s acrobatic effort at long-on. An edgy looking Pandey stepped out to hit Bipul over long-on but the Englishman leapt up, took the catch airborne and threw it to the back-up fielder Hanuma Vihari before landing.
But the SRH back-up fielder failed to anticipate and let down the spectacular effort.
A ball later, Bipul opened his account with Russell miscuing one to long-on and Morgan this time had it easy with the ball landing safe inside the boundary.
Earlier, KKR bolstered their spin resources by bringing in Johan Botha in place of Pat Cummins in the only change to their starting XI.
SRH picked Dale Steyn ahead of Trent Boult while Ashish Reddy made way for left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma.
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