Knight Riders edge Scorchers

The Kolkata Knight Riders secured a spot in the Champions League T20 semi-finals following a three wicket win over the Perth Scorches on Wednesday night in Hyderabad, India.

Perth Scorchers captain Adam Voges won the toss and chose to bat on what looked like a good track at the Rajiv Ghandi Cricket Stadium.

The Australian lead from the front and would end up carrying his bat for quickfire 71 not out off 52 balls. He had good support in the shape of fellow Aussie Craig Simmons, who reached 39 from 30 before being stumped by Robin Uthappa, who would also stump Scorchers’ number three Mitchell Marsh cheaply.

After a confident start, it was the middle order that failed for the Scorches with Marsh, Sam Whiteman, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ashton Agar and Ashton Turner only managing to put on 29 runs between them.

There was some excellent bowling from West Indian Sunil Narine, who would end up with figures of 4/31 off his allotment, restricting the Scorchers to 153/7.

The Knight Riders run chase began on a disastrous note, with captain Gautam Gambhir holing out for four at point off Joel Paris, then Jaques Kallis clipping one to short fine leg, leaving the Kinight Riders teetering on 13/2.

It was up to Manish Panday and Ryan ten Doeschate to steady the ship, and the pair did just that, putting on 30 runs for the fourth wicket partnership. However, tight bowling Yasir Arafat and Coulter-Nile would lead to their dismissals, putting the lower order under pressure.

But Suryakumar Yadav had other ideas and hit two of his first three balls into the stands for maximums. He continued on from there, as he single-handedly steered the Knight Riders to a win with two balls to spare despite needing 17 of the final eight balls. Yadav’s match winning innings of 43 would come off just 19 balls and include four sixes.