India pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar took three wickets as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) made the most of hour-long rain break and some excellent catching by Manish Pandey to restrict Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to 138/8 in 20 overs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) game at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.
Kumar (3/26) — returning to the team after recovering from a sore back — was ably supported by pacer Billy Stanlake (2/21) and Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (2/21) also taking two wickets.
Highly-rated leg-spinner Rashid Khan went wicketless, leaking 31 runs.
Former KKR batsman Pandey took two outstanding catches to send Nitish Rana (18; 16b 2×4 1×6) and Andre Russell (9; 5b 0x4 1×6) — who hit a 36-ball 88 in the last game — back in the hut as SRH bowlers reined in after skies opened up to halt play for 58 minutes when KKR were going steady at 52/1.
For the hosts, opener Chris Lynn (49; 34b 7×4 1×6) was the top-scorer as skipper Dinesh Karthik laboured to a 27-ball 29 hitting two fours and a six.
KKR got off to a slow start with SRH opening bowlers Bhuvneshwar and Billy Stanlake conceding just 23 runs in the first four overs and also removing Robin Uthappa (3) who was caught behind off Bhuvneshwar’s bowling.
The umpire first adjugded the batsman not out but the visitors straightaway asked for a review with replays showing a clear outside edge.
Lynn looked in fine fettle hitting Siddarth Kaul (1/37) for three fours in the fifth over.
In-form Rana, who starred with bat and ball in KKR’s home game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, continued his purple patch smashing Rashid for a four and a six in his first over. Rashid was hit for his first six of the tournament as he leaked 12 runs.
At the end of Powerplay, the hosts were 49/1 and after managing three runs in the next over, it started drizzling. Play was stopped for almost one hour but there was no loss of overs.
Four balls after the restart, Pandey took a brilliant diving catch at point to remove Rana off Stanlakes’s bowling.
Rashid had a chance to pull off a spectacular catch at long on to get rid of Lynn but the Afghanistan spinner spilled the ball over the line for a six. At the halfway stage, KKR were 70/2 and seemed to be going steady.
But in the next three overs, Shakib bagged the wickets of Sunil Narine (9;10b 1×4 0x6) — batting at No.4 — and Lynn taking a sharp diving catch to halt the Aussie opener from scoring a fifty.A
Andre Russell (9) was removed by Stanlake with Pandey taking another stunning catch runnning towards the boundary from point while Bhuvneshwar took the wickets of Karthik and Shubman Gill (3), who made his debut alongwith Shivam Mavi, both U-19 World Cup winners with India.
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 138/8 in 20 overs (Chris Lynn 49; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/26, Shakib Al Hasan 2/21, Billy Stanlake 2/21) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad