Shubman Gill of Kolkata Knight Riders hitting a boundary during their match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League in Dubai, UAE on October 3, 2021.
Shubman Gill of Kolkata Knight Riders hitting a boundary during their match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League in Dubai, UAE on October 3, 2021.BCCI/IPL

IPL 2021: Gill's half-century leads Kolkata to a six-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad

Dubai, October 3, 2021

A half-century from Shubman Gill led the way for Kolkata Knight Riders to register a six-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 49 of IPL 2021 at Dubai International Stadium here on Sunday.

Gill's knock of 57 helped Kolkata chase down 116 with two balls to spare which wasn't straightforward in the first place.

Kolkata had a watchful start with 21 runs in four overs. With Hyderabad's pacers getting some help from the pitch, they were able to not leak runs in the power-play. Venkatesh Iyer's struggles were ended by Jason Holder in the fifth over after an attempted loft was caught by mid-off. Rahul Tripathi was the second wicket to fall, pulling straight to short mid-wicket in Rashid Khan's first over.

Gill, sedate till the last ball of eleventh over, hit Kolkata's first boundary after power-play by coming down the pitch and hitting through mid-wicket off Khan. He then pulled Holder twice through mid-wicket in the next over. Debutant Umran Malik, who impressed with his searing pace, was hit for back-to-back boundaries through square leg and mid-wicket. Gill hit five boundaries in seven balls to ease tension in Kolkata camp.

Nitish Rana, who found it hard to come to terms with Malik's pace, struck his first boundary by reverse-sweeping Khan. Gill reached his maiden half-century in IPL 2021 with a pull through mid-wicket off Malik. The 55-run partnership between Gill and Rana was broken by Siddarth Kaul in the 17th over, with Gill mistiming a flick to long-on.

Dinesh Karthik nailed an off-drive on his first ball from Kaul. Rana pulled Holder through mid-wicket in the next over before a top-edge on the pull was pouched by keeper Wriddhiman Saha. Karthik slapped hard through point off Kumar in the 19th over, which was followed by finishing off the chase with a fiery pull through deep mid-wicket off Kaul.

Earlier, KKR bowlers performed in cohesion to restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to a paltry 115/8 in their 20 overs.

Throughout the innings, Kolkatas bowlers made life difficult for Hyderabad's batters, hardly providing them any breathing space.

After electing to bat first, Hyderabad had a bad start with Wriddhiman Saha trapped in front of the wicket by Tim Southee on the second ball of the innings. Jason Roy never looked to be settled at the crease, despite two fours. In the fourth over, Roy mishit to mid-on off Shivam Mavi.

Kane Williamson crunched Mavi for four fours in the last over of power-play. But his promising stay at the crease was cut short in a huge misjudgement for a tight single towards short mid-wicket. Shakib Al Hasan ran to collect the ball and fired a direct hit to catch Williamson short of the crease at the non-striker's end.

Kolkata sustained the pressure with three boundary-less overs. Abhishek Sharma, in a bid to break the dry run, charged down the pitch to hit over leg-side. But he couldn't connect with the ball from Shakib and was stumped easily.

Priyam Garg had a six but a top-edge on slog-sweep landed in deep mid-wicket's hands off Varun Chakravarthy. The leg-spinner had his second wicket in his next over as Jason Holder miscued to long-off. Abdul Samad made a quickfire 25 laced with three sixes before holing out to long-on off Southee.

Rashid Khan hit a boundary through covers off Mavi to take Hyderabad past 100. On the next ball, Mavi had his man as Khan mistimed to long-on. Siddarth Kaul's boundary on the last ball ensured that Hyderabad's bowlers have something substantial to defend.

Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 115/8 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 26, Abdul Samad 25, Varun Chakravarthy 2/25, Tim Southee 2/26) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 119/4 in 19.4 overs (Shubman Gill 57, Nitish Rana 25, Jason Holder 2/32, Siddarth Kaul 1/17) by six wickets.


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