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An all-round show from Rashid Khan saw Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 13 runs in the second Qualifier of the Indian Premier League 2018 at the Eden Gardens on Friday. Chasing 175, KKR managed 161/9 in a see-saw affair in front of a packed stadium with SRH setting up title clash with Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.

SRH’s win was engineered by Rashid as he first blasted an unbeaten 34 off 10 deliveries to push his team to a challenging total and then in the middle overs, not only applied breaks on the scoring rate but also picked up the prized scalps of Chris Lynn (48), Robin Uthappa (2) and Andre Russell (3). Besides that, he effected a run-out to get rid of Nitish Rana (22) and also took two catches.

It was Kolkata who, backed by a vociferous home crowd, blazed away in the chase with the opening pair of Sunil Narine (26) and Lynn scoring 40 in 3.1 overs. Siddarth Kaul provided the first breakthrough with the wicket of Narine but Lynn continued to find boundaries at will and found an able ally in Rana.

However, Rashid gave an excellent example of his fielding skills as his one-handed pick up and throw caught Rana well short of the crease at the striker’s end. From 87/1, KKR slipped to 108/5 and despite Shubman Gill smacking 30 off 20, the SRH spin pair of Rashid (3/19) and Shakib AL Hasan (1/16) had done enough to bring the contest alive.

Earlier, Rashid’s cameo helped SRH overcome a wobbly start. KKR bowlers responded to Dinesh Karthik’s decision to bowl first as they never allowed Sunrisers batsmen to score freely. The spinners, led by Kuldeep Yadav (2/29), Narine (1/24) and Piyush Chawla (1/22) kept the top-order from exploding.

But Sunrisers snatched the momentum scoring 50 runs in the last three overs with Rashid making the difference. Rashid stepped on the gas in Prasidh Krishna’s final over with two sixes that yielded 24 runs. Having started off on an impressive note, Krishna finished with poor figures of 56 runs from his four overs to undo all the good work done by Kuldeep and Narine.

Though KKR bowlers failed to get a wicket inside the powerplay, their pace battery of Shivam Mavi, Krishna and Russell bowled with speed and accuracy to stymie Sunrisers run flow.

Drafted into the side in place of Javon Searles, in a bold move by KKR to go in with three overseas players, Mavi troubled Wriddhiman Saha with his pace and movement off the seam en route to a fine spell of 1/33 from his full quota.

Returning after five matches, Saha looked awfully out of sorts with six runs from 12 balls and carried on with a dash of luck after being dropped on five when Karthik grassed a skier.

It did not matter much in the scheme of things as KKR got three wickets in five overs after the powerplay with Kuldeep giving breakthroughs with a twin blow in the eight over.

In his first ball, Kuldeep trapped the dangerous Shikhar Dhawan (34) and off the fifth ball he deceived the Orange Cap holder Williamson (3) with a wrong’un.

Kuldeep flighted the ball and Williamson failed to read it as he edged it to ‘keeper Karthik who did the rest. Saha’s knock of 35 from 27 balls finally came to an end after a brilliant stumping by Karthik. Shakib (28) and Deepak Hooda (19) tried but couldn’t accelerate in the middle overs.

They were moving towards a below-par total when Yusuf Pathan departed, leaving SRH at 138/7 before Rashid provided the finishing touch.

The final is scheduled to be played at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

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