The Kolkata Knight Riders booked their place in the playoffs in a convincing fashion, after securing a five-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Saturday (May 19).
It was an imperative batting performance by the visitors, as they chased down a total of 173 against a strong bowling lineup in a fairly easy manner.
They are now the third team to qualify for the playoffs, joining SRH and Chennai Super Kings in the knockout stage.
It was Kane Williamson who won the toss and decided to bat first on a surface where his team has defended numerous low totals.
Considering those incredible achievements, a target of 172 for KKR seemed a lot of effort for Dinesh Karthik and his men and gave a tiny room of error to the SRH bowling lineup.
However, the visitors stepped up in a brilliant fashion, taking home the two points with some imperative batting display on the day.
Ultimately, the runs put up on the board were not enough for the home side, as they crumbled under the onslaught from the KKR batsmen.
At one point in the match, SRH looked set to reach a total in excess of 200. Shikhar Dhawan was at the crease for the most part of the innings and at one point in the game, the hosts were cruising at 141-2 after 15 overs.
The left-handed batsman looked well settled and it seemed as if SRH were in for a massive finish in the last five overs.
However, Prasidh Krishna dismissed Dhawan off the very first delivery of the 16th over, and ultimately, that wicket proved to be the SK Turning Point of the match.
SRH just fell apart thereafter, losing six wickets in the final four overs of the game and scoring just 26 runs in 24 deliveries.
That is where Kolkata came right back into the game, and the initiation of their comeback was in the dismissal affected by Krishna in the 16th over of the game.
“We were on target for more runs, wicket played really well. We should have scored around the 200-run mark but credit goes to KKR for dragging us back.
A lot of credit goes to the boys in the field,” said Williamson after the game, understanding the importance of the 20-30 runs that they could never get in the final overs of the first innings.
His team will end up in the top two spots of the points table, which means that they will have two shots at making their second final in the Indian Premier League.
However, as was displayed in this match, they have some primary issues to solve before going into the playoffs. KKR, on the other hand, have momentum on their side, riding on the back of two convincing run chases in their last two games.