Lockie Ferguson did not put a foot wrong in his first match of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 as he led Kolkata Knight Riders to a crucial Super Over win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. KKR retained their spot in the top 4 with 10 points from 9 matches as the former champions’ chances of making the play-offs have brightened.
Lockie Ferguson reminded Kolkata Knight Riders why he should have been picked in the XI much earlier than their 9th match as he jolted the Sunrisers Hyderabad with his pace. He picked up 3 wickets in the tied contest where both SRH and KKR finished with 163 on the board.
As the match slipped into the Super Over, Lockie Ferguson ended Sunrisers Hyderabad’s chances in just 3 balls, rattling the wickets twice to send back David Warner and Abdul Samad. SRH managed just 2 runs in the Super Over after which Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan came up with a sensible approach in the chase against Rashid Khan to help them seal 2 points.
A heroic effort from an injured Kane Williamson and a valiant knock from David Warner at an unfamiliar batting position wasn’t enough for Sunrisers Hyderabad who have suffered their third straight loss at IPL 2020. SRH were faced with a tricky target of 164 on a sluggish wicket at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium after Dinesh Karthik and captain Eoin Morgan came up with a late blitz and powered Kolkata Knight Riders past 160.
Helping raise a few eyebrows, Sunrises Hyderabad opened with Kane Williamson instead of David Warner as the New Zealand star, carrying a hamstring injury, was sent higher up the order to make use of the fielding restrictions. SRH came up with a smart move as they might not have been able to use an injured Williamson after the powerplay.
The move did work as Williamson and Jonny Baristow took the attack to the KKR pacers, including Pat Cummins, in the powerplay as SRH posted 57 without losing a wicket. Despite not running much between the wickets, Williamson got to 29 off 18 balls.
Lockie Ferguson jolts Sunrisers in his first game of IPL 2020
However, things changed dramatically for Kolkata Knight Riders when they introduced their express pacer Lockie Ferguson, who was playing his first match of IPL 2020. Ferguson picked up Williamson’s wicket in his first ball of the tournament. He then ran through the middle-order, sending back Priyam Garg and Manish Pandey — two of their consistent performers in the season — cheaply.
Varun Chakravarthy got the big wicket of Jonny Bairstow as SRH lost 4 wickets for 24 runs in a span of 32 balls. All-rounder Vijay Shankar failed to trouble the scorers much with the bat.
SRH were 109 for 5 in 15.2 overs and David Warner was left with a bit too much to do. He was joined by young Abdul Samad as the duo gave the impetus in the end overs.
However, Ferguson, in his final over, swung it in favour of KKR, conceding just 7 runs. He finished with figures of 3/15 in 4 overs, reminded the KKR management that he deserved a spot in the XI much earlier in the season.
Ferguson was electric in the field as well as he came up with another relay catch of IPL 2020 to dismiss Abdul Samad, who was looking dangerous. The youngster’s cameo — a 23-ball 15 came to end in the 19th over.
With 17 needed in the last over, Warner switched gears and hit a half-fit Russell for three boundaries. However, with 2 needed off the final ball, all that Warner could manage was a quick single.
Dinesh Karthik-Eoin Morgan combo does the trick for KKR
Earlier in the day, Kolkata Knight Riders got off to a good start with Rahul Tripathi and Shubman Gill taking their time in the powerplay before cutting loose. The two KKR openers got just 15 runs in the first 3 overs but they accelerated, taking the attack to the likes of Basil Thampi and T Natajaran as Sunrisers Hyderabad fielding an inexperienced pace attack.
Kolkata Knight Riders got the big wicket of Tripathi, who was looking set to go big, in the final ball of the powerplay when T Natarajan hit the timbers.
Familiar problems returned to haunt KKR after the powerplay as Shubman Gill was struggling to find the boundaries. After they lost Rahul Tripathi in the 6tth over, only 16 runs were scored in the next 3 before Nitish Rana took the attack to Rashid Khan to provide a much-needed push.
Just when the partnership was blossoming, Shubman Gill perished for 36 from 37 balls as Rashid Khan struck for Sunrisers Hyderabad at the right time. Nitish Rana walked back in a span of few balls as Vijay Shankar got the left-hander who struck well for his 29-ball 20.
Andre Russell walked in at No. 4 ahead of both Dinesh Karthik and captain Eoin Morgan but the big West Indies all-rounder flattered to deceive once again. Russell, who was not 100 percent fit, manged just 9 from 11 balls before he holed out at deep mid-wicket to hand T Natarajan his second wicket.
KKR were 105 for 4 when Dinesh Karthik joined hands with his captain Eoin Morgan in the middle. The duo went big in the last five overs, adding 58 runs. While Karthik remained unbeaten on 29 from just 14 balls, Morgan picked up pace and finished with 34 from 23 balls on a difficult batting wicket in Abu Dhabi.
While Natarajan picked up 2 wickets for 40 runs, Vijay Shankar and Rashid Khan, as usual, were miserly, as they bowled 8 overs between them for just 48 runs and 2 crucial wickets.