Batsmen do the job after Krishna takes 4 wickets
Hyderabad: The Kolkata Knight Riders confirmed their berth in the play-offs of IPL XI with a five-wicket win over the Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Saturday.
The Knights rose to the occasion and dominated the proceedings.
Opting to bat, the hosts were restricted to 172 for nine after a flying start at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Playing in their crucial final league game, the Knights held their nerves to chase down the target with two balls to spare.
If young medium pacer Prasidh Krishna's three wickets in the last over was the highlight of the Knights' rally with the ball, openers Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine's scintillating start, scoring 52 runs in 3.4 overs, headlined the two-time winners' response with the bat.
While Lynn struck a brisk 55 off 43 balls with three sixes and four boundaries, Narine smashed 29 off just 10 balls to set up the chase.
Robin Uthappa, who got a life early in his innings, contributed 45 off 34 balls, as the visitors became the third team to qualify for the play-offs after the Chennai Super Kings and the Sunrisers.
Though the Knights lost both Lynn and Uthappa when they were going great guns, the visitors were never really troubled following the smashing start.
Losing Lynn's wicket pegged back the Knights for a while, but they soon regained control. They required 52 off the last six overs, but a six each by skipper Dinesh Karthik and Uthappa brought the equation down to 26 off 24 balls.
Uthappa and Andre Russell got out with the job yet to be completed, but Karthik was there to see his team through.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan top-scored for the hosts with 50 off 39 balls, while Kane Williamson blazed away to 36 off just 17, hitting three sixes. Bengal stumper Sreevats Goswami, opening the innings, made 35. Batting for the first time in this edition of the cash-rich league, Goswami got into the act in style, smashing Andre Russell for 20 runs in the third over.
But the Knights staged a fightback as the Sunrisers managed just 45 runs in the last 7.1 overs after Williamson's dismissal.
The hosts were past the 100-run mark in the 11th over.
The 22-year-old Prasidh was the most successful bowler for the Knights, returning exceptional figures of four for 30 in four overs.
S. Dhawan lbw Krishna 50
S. Goswami c Russell b Kuldeep 35
K. W'son c Russell b Searles 36
M. Pandey c sub b Krishna 25
Y. Pathan c Uthappa b Narine 2
C. B'athwaite c Karthik b Russell 3
S. Hasan c Narine b Krishna 10
R. Khan c Karthik b Krishna 0
B. Kumar run out 0
S. Kaul not out 0
Extras (b-4, lb-1, nb-1, w-5) 11
Total (9 wickets; 20 overs) 172
Fall of wickets: 1/79, 2/127, 3/141, 4/147, 5/161, 6/168, 7/172, 8/172, 9/172
Bowling: Rana 1-0-5-0, Krishna 4-0-30-4, Russell 3-0-31-1, Narine 4-0-23-1, Chawla 2-0-19-0, Kuldeep 4-0-35-1, Searles 2-0-24-1
C. Lynn c Manish b Kaul 55
S. Narine c Manish b Shakib 29
R. Uthappa c Goswami b B'thwaite 45
D. Karthik not out 26
A. Russell c Manish b Kaul 4
N. Rana c B'neshwar b B'thwaite 7
S. Gill not out 0
Extras (b-0, lb-2, w-5, nb-0) 7
Total (5 wickets, 19.4 overs) 173
Fall of wickets: 1/52, 2/119, 3/149, 4/160, 5/172
Bowling: Bhuvneshwar 4-0-33-0; Sharma 2-0-30-0; Siddarth 4-0-26-2; Shakib 3-0-30-1; Rashid 4-0-31-0; Brathwaite 2.4-0-21-2
MoM: Chris Lynn