Kolkata, May 23 UNI | 2 months ago

After making his Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) assured of a semifinal berth in the IPL7, skipper Gautam Gambhir now sets his eyes to finish for top two slots when they host Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the concluding league play at Eden Gardens here on Saturday.


Blistering unbeaten 83 from Robin Utappa and swashbuckling 60 from Sakib Al Hasan put KKR to highest score of 195/4 and then West Indian spin wizard Sunil Narine restricted Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to 165/5 for 30 runs win on Thursday night at Eden.

This was Uthappa's fifth half-century with a tally of 572 runs, the KKR opener usurped the Orange Cap from Glen Maxwell (533) and off-spinner Sunil Narine joined with top wicket taker Bhubaneswar Kumar with 20 each.

The victory, the 6th straight, put KKR not only in the playoff but also on 3rd place with 16 points atop Rajasthan Royals's 14.

Gautam Gambhir described their six successive wins as not a fluke.

'It's still a long way to go. The important thing is to turn up in two days time and play with same passion. The actual tournament starts now,' Gambhir said.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), also still on the hunt for a play off berth, will find their task a difficult one at Eden when some 66,000 home crowds cheer for Gambhir's purple boys.

Shikhar Dhawan knows well before taking Eden pitch that how KKR beat them on their home ground just five days ago by seven wickets and at Eden to reverse the result would mean to overcome a Himalayan task to be in the contest.

SRH, however, successfully chased Chennai Super Kings's 186 to script a win before taking the hosts on Saturday, when a record crowd is expected in the sultry hot night.

Teenagers, both girls and boys, defying the sweltering heat wave with temperature hovering over 40 degrees, flock in thousands to witness magical cricket of their favourites team. The Eden Gardens still awaits presence of Shah Rukh Khan, who could not make it on Thursday.

(Posted on 23-05-2014)