Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan feels the run-chase of 116 runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday was tricky but they did well.
Shubman Gill anchored the innings for KKR as he scored 57 runs off 51 balls to get his team close to the target.
It wasn’t the easiest of pitches but KKR was able to get over the line with six wickets and two balls to spare. Gill got off to a sedate start after his opening partner Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi were dismissed cheaply. Nitish Rana then struggled to get going whereas Gill was also on 25 runs off 29 balls at one stage.
However, the KKR opener was able to change gears as he brought his fifty off 44 balls and kept the asking rate in check. Dinesh Karthik then added the finishing touches to the run-chase as the wicket-keeper batter played a little cameo of 12-ball 18.
Earlier in the innings, KKR bowlers, especially spinners did a fantastic job in restricting SRH to an under-par score of 115 runs. KKR spinners conceded only 58 runs and scalped three wickets in the 12 overs they bowled collectively. Furthermore, the Orange Army batted a total of 56 dot balls and failed to rotate strike.
Eoin Morgan said in the post-match presentation, “Yes the chase was tricky. I thought it was sluggish if anything. The wicket is one thing but you need to adapt to conditions — bowl well, field well. We did that well, a vast improvement from two days ago,” Morgan said.
Morgan added, “Shubman played extremely well and led the chase. The depth of the squad to be able to call Shakib is a huge luxury, so he has had a huge impact. We didn’t know it wouldn’t be played in India, and we have done well in the conditions and adapted well. We are focused on playing good cricket and we’ve done that in the last three weeks. The game plan has had a good impact in the dressing room and guys are putting their hands up. We have done well to adapt to the slow conditions and I’m happy with that”.
KKR have kept themselves in the playoff race and they should be able to qualify for the last four if they win their next match against Rajasthan Royals. The Eoin Morgan-led team has won four out of their six matches in the second phase of the tournament and they have been able to turn the tables after a mundane run in the first half of the season.
KKR is ticking the right boxes and the likes of Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, and Sunil Narine have done a magnificent job for the franchise in the second leg of the competition.
KKR will play their last league stage match against RR at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday.