Captain Kane Williamson led from the front with a solid fifty as Sunrisers Hyderabad shrugged off initial wobble to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets in their IPL match on Saturday. Williamson struck exactly fifty off 44 deliveries, hitting four boundaries and a six to help Sunrisers chase down the small target of 139 after the visiting side were reduced to 55 for 3 in the ninth over at the Eden Gardens.
An integral part of KKR's twin-IPL winning campaigns, Shakib became the thorn against his former team and young Australian pacer Stanlake gave him a fine support. Lynn was the lone KKR crusader in the middle but a sensational diving catch by Shakib off his own bowling denied the Australian a half-century as the star Bangladeshi cricketer once again did his job in the middle overs.
A splendid bowling show spearheaded by pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, coupled with a brilliant fielding display, helped Sunrisers restrict KKR to a modest 138/8 in a rain-interrupted first innings. Returning to action after a one-match injury lay-off, Bhuvneshwar once again shone at the death, claiming 3/26 as KKR's rejigged batting order looked in a complete disarray. Opting to bowl after winning the toss, SRH's overseas duo of Billy Stanlake (2/21) and Shakib Al Hasan (2/22) put the brakes in the middle overs, triggering a collapse after a one-hour rain delay.
Opener Wriddhiman Saha and Shakib Al Hasan made useful contributions of 24 and 27 respectively. Williamson's 59-run stand with Shakib -- who also took two wickets in KKR innings -- for the fourth wicket eased the pressure on the Sunrisers as they reached 139 for 5 in 19 overs to notch up their third win on the trot.
Dhawan, who was in fine touch in the last two matches, was out cheaply this time for seven as he became Narine's second victim in the sixth over, clean-bowled by the West Indian off-spinner and suddenly Sunrisers were in trouble at 46 for 2. The match briefly threatened to take a twist when Williamson was out in the 18th over and Sunrisers needing 20 from 2.4 overs but Yusuf Pathan (17 not out off 7 balls) had other ideas as he hit a four and a six in the 19th over bowled by Andre Russell to finish off the match with one over to spare.
Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson had done the damage at Eden Gardens and it was Yusuf Pathan and Deepak Hooda who finished the match. It was Kolkata Knight Riders' second loss of the campaign with one win in hand. Hyderabad will next face Kings XI Punjab in Mohali whereas KKR will take on Delhi Daredevils on April 16.