IPL 2017, SRH vs KKR Eliminator: Gautam Gambhir’s calming presence delivers victory at 1.27 AM after rain break
Gautam Gambhir is the best thing to have happened to Kolkata Knight Riders and the left-handed batsman once again showed his class and guided his team to a 7-wicket win over defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator on Wednesday.The rain-curtailed match saw KKR chasing 48 in 6 overs (D/L target) which caused panic in the top-order with Gambhir deciding to demote himself in the batting order. Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn opened the innings for the two-time champions but the move backfired as Lynn fell on the third ball of the first over followed by Yusuf Pathan in the very next delivery from Chris Jordan.Uthappa departed in the second over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar which brough skipper Gambhir to the crease who brought a bit of sanity along with him. The Delhi batsman maintained his calm but also went for the big shots as KKR required over 8 runs per over after making a mess of the run chase.Gambhir remained unbeaten on 32 from 19 balls with two fours and as many sixes and forged a 36-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Ishank Jaggi, who also kept his cool and supported his skipper with an 8-ball 5* and spent 21 minutes at the crease, to guide KKR through to victory with 4 balls to spare.Kolkata haven’t been in the best of forms lately and had lost their last two matches as their batsmen failed to deliver and panicked just like they did against SRH at the M Chinnaswamy last night with Gambhir himself struggling to find form. But the 35-year-old made sure to see his team through in the run chase this time around as he done on numerous occasions in the past and in the process regained his touch with the bat.advertisementGambhir even mentioned in the post-match presentation that his team’s batsmen should have played more sensibly after their bowlers restricted Sunrisers to 128/7 in the first innings.”A lot of credit to the bowlers. They set the game up for us. We should have been more sensible with the batting, though. But the bowlers restricting the Sunrisers batting to 128 was brilliant.”You do get nervous (about the rain) and we have played really well this season and our bowlers put in an unbelievable effort and if we had gone out after the rain, it wouldn’t have been good.”Kolkata will face Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier on Friday at the same venue and the winner of this match will go through to the final and play Rising Pune Supergiant on May 21 at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad.”We don’t have a good record against Mumbai, but hopefully we can settle that tomorrow,” Gambhir added.