Gill and Morgan steer resilient Kolkata to facile win over hapless Hyderabad at IPL - GulfToday

Gill and Morgan steer resilient Kolkata to facile win over hapless Hyderabad at IPL


Eoin Morgan of Kolkata Knight Riders plays a shot against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Courtesy: Twitter

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

Shubham Gill smacked an unbeaten 62-ball 70 and shared a 92-run partnership with Eoin Morgan (42 n.o.) to steer Kolkata Knight Riders to a seven-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their IPL match in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Chasing a paltry total of 142/4, KKR knocked down the target with seven wickets remaining and 12 balls to spare.

Both Gill and Morgan played diligently and put a sublime performance to make sure that Kolkata register their first win, having lost the opener against Mumbai Indians.

Defending a relatively smaller total, Hyderabad did make some inroads through Khalil Ahmed and Rashid Khan but failed to stop Kolkata’s victory march.

Kolkata were off to a faltering start as they lost Sunil Narine with just six runs on the board. The West Indian was caught by David Warner off Ahmed while trying to hit it over the point.

Rana played a fiery cameo to take the pressure off Kolkata. He smashed a quick-fire 26 off just 13 balls with the help of six boundaries and took the score to 43-2 with Gill. T Natarajan had Rana caught by wicket-keeper Saha to rekindle the hopes of Hyderabad.

Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan trapped Dinesh Karthik in front of the wickets 10 balls later to reduce Kolkata to 53-3 in 6.2 overs.

Kolkata were staring another collapse in the eye before England World Cup winning captain Morgan joined Gill in the middle to take the responsibility of seeing their team through.

Both the batsmen played watchfully and kept the scoreboard tickling with a dab here and din there. They kept the asking rate under control with occasional boundaries without tonking the ball in the air.

Gill raced to his fifty off 42 deliveries with a boundary off Natarajan. He hit five boundaries and two sixes during his stint at the crease. Morgan, who was the more brutal of the two, looked in sublime form as he scored 42 off just 29 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes.

Earlier, Warner and Jonny Bairstow gave Hyderabad a slow but safe start as they took the score to 24 in four overs before Pat Cummins struck to to give KKR the first breakthrough.

Cummins rattled the stumps of Bairstow with an in-swinging delivery, which completely baffled the England batsman.

After the fall of Bairstow, Warner was joined by Manish Pandey in the middle and the duo added 35 runs for the second wicket in five overs. When Warner started cutting loose, he fell prey to Varun Chakravarthy, who took a stunning catch off his own bowling to get rid of the danger man.

Hyderabad were 60/2 at the half-way mark. After the departure of Warner, began a painstakingly slow journey of Hyderabad as Pandey and Saha scored at a snail’s pace. Both the batsmen played a sedated innings, pushing Hyderabad into a quagmire. Despite losing just four wickets in their allotted overs, the duo of Pandey and Saha never looked interested in spurring the run rate as Hyderabad fell short of 20-25 runs to end up 142/4.

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