Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders zoomed to the top of the Indian Premier League table riding on Robin Uthappa’s gritty half-century and disciplined bowling performance to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 17 runs at the Eden Gardens here yesterday.
After a shaky start being put in to bat by visiting captain David Warner, Uthappa stemmed the rot with a brilliant 68 to help the men in purple post 172/6.
Sunrisers surrendered to the guile of off-spinner Sunil Narine, and the left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who gave KKR the crucial breaks while throttling the visitor’s run chase. Yusuf Pathan also bowled his off-spinners effectively in the only over he got and picked up the crucial wicket of the SRH opener Shikhar Dhawan.
Dhawan and Warner had started constructing an apt reply against a moderate target set by the host, with a 46-run partnership for the opening stand, but lost its way thereafter as KKR captain introduced his spinners in the fifth over.
Pathan struck in the seventh over getting Dhawan (23) back before Warner (26) departed in the 10th over, mistiming a lofted drive off Kuldeep Yadav. At 59 for two in the 10th over, SRH seemed to have drawn huge arrears in the required run-rate from which it could never recover as the KKR bowling improved its grip on the visitor.
Yuvraj Singh, who scored a 16-ball 26 (2x4, 2x6) tried to salvage the situation but could not do much as he was picked up by Chris Woakes in the 15th over, with the visitor SRH score slumping to 112 for five.
In the second match of the day, Delhi Daredevils defeated King’s XI Punjab by 51 runs.
BRIEF SCORES: Kolkata Knight Riders 172 for 6 (Uthappa 68, Pandey 46, Bhuvneshwar 3-20) beatSunrisers Hyderabad 155 for 6 (Warner 26, Yuvraj 26, Narine 1-18, Kuldeep 1-23) by 17 runs.
Delhi Daredevils 188 for 6 (Billings 55, Anderson 39*) beat Kings XI Punjab 137 for 9 (Miller 24, Morris 3-23) by 51 runs.
TODAY’S MATCHES: Mumbai Indians v Gujarat Lions (at Mumbai, starting 1.30pm Bahrain time).
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rising Pune Supergiant (at Bangalore, starting 5.30pm Bahrain time).