IPL 2017 Eliminator SRH vs KKR: Defending Champions Kneeled Against Gautam Gambhir as They Lost By 7 Wickets in DLS Drama.
Kolkata Knight Riders opted to bowl, planning for a successful run-chase to enter the second qualifier. Sunrisers’ openers, David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan were at the top of the highest run-getter list and Gautam Gambhir had to marshal his troops in the do-or-die match against the defending Champions.
He made four changes in the playing XI, two of which, had already justified their captain’s decision by the end of first 10 overs, thanks to the spells of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Piyush Chawla who had the figures of three for 20 runs and one for 27 runs respectively.
Usually controlled in his celebrations, Gautam Gambhir was seen kissing and congratulating Piyush Chawla when the leg-spinner got rid of David Warner at a moment when the Aussie had just found his mojo and was coming out of the crease for big shots.
Moreover, despite not getting a single breakthrough in the first four overs, Gautam Gambhir made Umesh Yadav bowl his third over which surprised everyone as in the powerplay overs, skippers were seen using three to four bowlers in IPL 2017 instead of exhausting the spell of their best bowlers. However, his gamble paid very well when Yadav gifted KKR Shikhar Dhawan’s (11 off 13) wicket and the score was just 25 runs.
Exhausting Umesh Yadav and Trent Boult’s three out of four overs meant that Gautam Gambhir was looking for early dominance but could have backfired in the death overs, however, the KKR skipper also had an answer to that. He knew that Yuvraj Singh and Vijay Shanker were the last batsmen who could do some real damage, and he brought back Umesh Yadav for his fourth and last over which was the 16th of the innings. Living up to the expectations, Yadav had caught Yuvraj at square-leg on the third ball of the over as he finished the day with a tally of 4-0-21-2.
Vijay Shanker was left alone on the crease and the tail-enders had started to emerge from the dug-out, Gautam Gambhir knew that it was the chance for a final strike and Nathan Coulter-Nile was the man he chose to rely upon.
Coulter-Nile turned out to be the dark horse as he floored Sunrisers Hyderabad by taking two wickets as well as conceding just three runs in the second last over of the innings.
Watch Nathan Coulter-Nile adding to the horror of SRH here:
128 runs were made in the first innings and since it was a rain-affected game, DLS method gave KKR six overs to score 48 runs and enter the second IPL 2017 qualifier against Mumbai Indians. Gautam Gambhir, the man who has given Kolkata Knight Riders two IPL trophies, once again, took the matter into his own hands after the loss of a couple of quick wickets, and went on to score unbeaten 32 runs off just 19 balls, including two boundaries and two huge sixes, that were enough for KKR to continue their IPL 2017 campaign and knock-out the defending champions from the eliminator.
IPL 2017 Eliminator SRH vs KKR was a game where Gautam Gambhir, once again, proved that why he is considered as one of the best brains in the business and if his gambles continue to pay him well, Kolkata Knight Riders might end up winning the IPL 2017 title and becoming the only three-time champions in the history of Indian Premier League.