Sports Knight Riders End

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir bats in an IPL match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 18, 2017. (IANS photo)

BENGALURU — After beating defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets using the Duckworth/Lewis method in a rain-hit eliminator May 17, the Kolkata Knight Riders stayed in contention for their third Indian Premier League title.

Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir hit a brisk unbeaten 32 off 19 balls and carried his team to 48-3 with four balls to spare after their target was revised to 48 runs off six overs.

Rain had stopped play for nearly three hours soon after Sunrisers were restricted to 128-7.

The Knight Riders and the Mumbai Indians will now meet in the playoff May 19 at the same venue with the winner going through the final against the Rising Pune Supergiant May 21 in Hyderabad.

Earlier, the Sunrisers’ batsmen struggled to score freely against both seamers and spinners after losing the toss and being put into bat by Gambhir.

Skipper David Warner (37) and Kane Williamson (24) shared a second-wicket stand of 50 runs but consumed 46 balls before both batsmen were dismissed at the same total of 75 in the space of three deliveries.

Warner, who became the first foreign batsmen to complete 4,000 runs in the IPL, top-scored before he was clean bowled by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in the 13th over.

Australian fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile (3-20) had Williamson caught at extra cover and later took a splendid diving catch off his follow-through to dismiss Chris Jordan (0), who was playing his first game in the IPL.

The Knight Riders had some early jitters in their run-chase when seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar had Chris Lynn (6) caught behind and then ran out Yusuf Pathan in the first over.

Jordan then made it 12-3 when Robin Uthappa holed out in the deep, but Gambhir smashed two fours and two sixes to keep alive Knight Riders’ hopes of another IPL title.

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