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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Eliminator 2 - SRH out - KKR wins rain shortened match !

The 2nd eliminator at Bengaluru was different – it appears to me, that it becomes too batsmen dominated in a chase when D/L comes to play, especially with the chasing team having all 10 wikets ~ - is is difficult to get 48 in Six or 129 in 20 ?

After the toss, both captains acknowledged that they had got what they wanted. Kolkata Knight Riders had always been a chasing side, said Gautam Gambhir.  They contained SRH throughout – they had brought back  Nathan Coulter-Nile executing those plans perfectly in a crunch game. The Australia fast bowler hadn't played a single game since being struck on the grille by a Dan Christian bouncer at the start of May. On his return, he took 3 for 20 on a ground that , even with it's relaid surface, is not one that is pace-friendly.

He bowled the 19th over when Sunrisers had relatively well-set batsmen at the crease;  with six wickets still in hand.  Commentators were expecting Yuvi do a Dhoni – but things were different.  He forced Vijay Shankar, a batsman in the traditional mould, to try and hit him on the up on this pitch. It got him a wicket first ball. Then, with the same length he found Chris Jordan's leading edge and took a smart one-handed catch, diving to his left.  It cost KKR,  three runs.

With half their Eliminator completed, Kolkata Knight Riders' players must have sat in their dugout, cursing. Cursing the weather, the scheduling, themselves. It  rained, and rained some more. Were this match to be washed out, Knight Riders would be knocked out, since they had finished fourth on the league table and Sunrisers third. They had lost their last two matches and blown a massive chance to finish in the top two.  But the playing conditions for playoffs allow for a five-over match to begin as late as 12.26am - nearly four-and-a-half hours past the scheduled match start - and for a Super Over to be played as far into the night as 1.20am.

And so, three hours and 18 minutes after the rain had begun - a wait longer than most T20 games - Knight Riders' batsmen began the task of following up their bowlers' good work. Instead of 129 in 20 overs, they chased in panic  48 in six; lost three wickets in 1.1 overs. But a shortened second innings favours the chasing team in a most exaggerated manner.  Gautam Gambhir eased them past the early jitters with an unbeaten 32 off 19 balls.

For us with remembrance, way back on 27th Jan 1985 at Sector 16 Chandigarh, in a rain shortened match, England made 121, Alan Lamb top scoring 33.  Kapil gave only 17 in his 3 overs, while Thirumalai Ananthanpillai Sekhar took 3 for 23 in 3 accounting for Mi8ke Gatting, David Gower and Phil Edmonds India chasing required 11 off the last, Chris Cowdrey bowled his only over – Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Lalchand Rajput were at the crease and India managed 3 runs. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
18th May 2017.

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