Indian T20 League: Kolkata inflict another defeat on Hyderabad

Hyderabad will finish bottom of the Indian T20 League points table in the 2021 season after a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Kolkata at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Kolkata have boosted their playoff hopes with the win, and two points against Rajasthan on Thursday could be enough for them to finish in the top four. Meanwhile, Hyderabad suffered their tenth defeat and, even if the franchise manage to win their last two games, they will end up with the worst points tally in their league history.

The Kolkata bowlers delivered the goods against a hapless Hyderabad batting unit. Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy, and Shivam Mavi grabbed two wickets each, while Shakib Al Hasan removed Abhishek Sharma and ran out Kane Williamson with a direct hit off his bowling. Narine went wicketless but conceded just 12 runs in four overs.

A first half-century of the 2021 season for Shubman Gill laid a solid platform in the run chase. Hyderabadโ€™s batting woes continued, while Jason Holder bagged two wickets and became the second Hyderabad bowler to pick up ten wickets this season.

Hyderabad stutter

After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Hyderabad lost Wriddhiman Saha and Jason Roy early. Southee trapped Saha LBW in the second ball of the match. If the wicketkeeper-batsman had reviewed it, the third umpire would have overturned the decision as the ball was missing the stumps. Roy, who hit back-to-back fours off Southee, holed out to the New Zealand pacer at mid-on off the bowling of Mavi.

Hyderabad ended the powerplay on a high after Williamson scored four boundaries in Maviโ€™s third over, which cost 18 runs. Hyderabad moved to 35/2 in six overs. But Williamson had to walk back to the pavilion. The Hyderabad skipper nudged the ball to the leg side and tried to take a quick single. Shakib ran to pick up the ball and fired it towards the non-striker’s end. The replays showed Williamson was short of the crease.

Kolkata on top

Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma had to rely on singles to keep the scorecard ticking. The left-hand batsman lost his wicket when he tried to step down the track to Shakib, who got him out stumped. Garg scored Hyderabadโ€™s first maximum in the 13th over. He tried to hit another six, but Rahul Tripathi took a good catch near the boundary line. All-rounder Holder, too, perished quickly.

Abdul Samad smashed consecutive sixes in the final over of Varun Chakravarthy. Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan and Siddarth Kaul added small but valuable runs to the total. Southee and Mavi removed Samad and Rashid, respectively. Kolkata restricted Hyderabad to 115/8 in 20 overs. The 2016 champions managed to score 35 runs in the last four overs of the innings.

Gill finds runs

Kolkata opening batsman Shubman Gill desperately needed to convert his start into a big score. The 22-year-old’s fellow opener Venkatesh Iyer struggled to get going, and Holder dismissed him in the fifth over courtesy of a good catch from Williamson. He departed for just eight. Gill kept the scorecard ticking with boundaries off Holder and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Kolkata saw their second wicket fall after Tripathi holed out to Abhishek at midwicket. It was Rashid’s 15th wicket of the 2021 season. The dismissal of Iyer and Tripathi affected the scoring rate. Gill and Nitish Rana worked the ball around to keep the scorecard moving. Kolkata reached 44/2 at the halfway mark of the run chase. Gill struck five fours in seven balls to help Kolkata go past 50 and reduce the required rate from 7 to 5.

A sixth win

With a boundary in the 15th over, Gill reached his first half-century in the 2021 season. At the other end, Nitish Rana, who faced some lightning-quick deliveries from debutant Umran Malik, scored his first four. Kaul broke the half-century stand with the wicket of Gill. The new man Dinesh Karthik got off the mark with a boundary. Kolkata needed 17 runs from 18 balls.

Rana clobbered the ball for a four off Holder’s bowling before giving a catch to Saha. The former Kolkata captain finished the run chase with a four in the final over. It was an emphatic win for Kolkata, who are favorites to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot. The two-time winners will take on sixth-placed Rajasthan in their last league game on Thursday. Hyderabad will be in action against Virat Kohli-led Bangalore on Wednesday.

Hyderabad 115/8 in 20 overs (K Williamson 26, A Samad 25; V Chakravarthy 2/26, T Southee 2/26, S Mavi 2/29)

Kolkata 119/4 in 19.4 overs (S Gill 57, N Rana 25; J Holder 2/32)

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