Sunrisers rises on Shakib
Bangladesh ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was at his brilliant best against his former side Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Shakib’s ruthless bowling, determined batting and sensational fielding gave Sunrisers Hyderabad a five-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Saturday. His all-round performance in all three departments shows that he is an integral part of the team. Shakib’s performance throughout the Indian Premier League (IPL) season is the key to Sunrisers’ success in this year’s edition.
Against KKR, Shakib bagged two wickets in his four-over spell, giving away only 21 runs at a mere economy rate of 5.25 runs per over. While chasing KKR’s target, Shakib played a crucial knock of 27 runs in 21 deliveries—with two fours and one six—at a strike rate of 128.57. After three games, Shakib has an economy rate of 6.50, the 4th best among bowlers with 8 plus overs. His 27 off 21 balls on Saturday was his highest IPL score since the 2016 season.
Winning the toss, KKR opted to bat first. When Shakib came on to bowl, Knight Riders were 49 for 1 in six overs. He alternated between a full length and a good length without offering much width. His first two overs went for only seven runs. KKR’s danger man Chris Lynn was stopped on 49 in the 13th over, when he chipped a return catch to Shakib, trying to drive off a back-of-a-length delivery against Shakib, who held on smartly to his left off his own bowling. The left-arm spinner had a dot-ball percentage of 44 throughout his spell and his two wickets forced KKR captain Dinesh Karthik to drop anchor.
When Shakib walked out to bat in a chase of 139, Sunrisers were sinking against spin with the asking rate climbing. They revived when Shakib hit three successive boundaries off Andre Russell, though two were streaky hits—fortune favoured the brave and all that jazz. With that, the equation had been narrowed down to 51 off 48 balls. Piyush Chawla snuck through Shakib’s gate four overs later, with 25 needed off 26, and another former Knight Rider Yusuf Pathan saw Sunrisers home.
Captain Kane Williamson's half-century and his 59-run stand with Shakib Al Hasan was vital for Sunrisers win against KKR. It was Sunrisers’ first away match of the season and their third victory in the three consecutive games. This is also the first time that Sunrisers have beaten KKR on their own turf.