KKR seal play-off spot after seeing off leaders SRH

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Hyderabad : Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa rose to the occasion with the bat to take KKR to the 2018 IPL play-offs after a five-wicket win over SRH in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Chasing 173 to win, KKR came out all guns blazing through Sunil Narine and Lynn.

After Narine got out for a 10-ball 29 with 52 runs on the board in 3.4 overs, Lynn and Uthappa carried on and added 67 for the second wicket to put KKR in absolute control of the chase.

SRH did manage to get Lynn out for 55, Uthappa for 45, Andre Russell for 4 and Nitish Rana for 7 but the damage was already done.

Captain Dinesh Karthik (26) stayed till the end to take the team over the line in 19.4 overs as the visitors became the third team this season to qualify for the play-offs after SRH and CSK.

It was KKR’s eighth win in 14 games.

Earlier in the day after electing to bat at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, SRH wasted their good start and were eventually at least 20-25 runs short.

Shreevats Goswami and Shikhar Dhawan looked in control from the word go and during their 79-run opening stand were largely untroubled.

Goswami fell for a 26-ball 35 but his departure didn’t affect SRH in any way.

In fact, with the arrival of new batsman Kane Williamson things got better. The New Zealander appeared in great touch and middled the ball right from the start to great effect.

At 127/1 in 12.4 overs, SRH eyed a total in the vicinity of 200.

However as it turned out, Williamson (36 off 17 balls), Yusuf Pathan (2 off 4 balls) and Dhawan (50 off 29 balls) fell in quick succession to allow KKR to claw back into the game.

After accounting for Dhawan, Prasidh Krishna went from strength to strength and made SRH work hard for their runs.

In the last over of the SRH innings, the 22-year-old pacer took three wickets to completely turn the tide in KKR’s favour. He finished with figures of 4/30, his best bowling performance so far.

Those extra 20-25 runs that SRH didn’t get eventually proved to be the difference between the two sides. However despite the defeat, leaders SRH were assured of a top-two finish having won nine out of their 14 games.

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