Set 161 to win by the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata not only chased it down, but did it inside 15.2 overs to ensure they sealed second spot in the table with a four-wicket triumph on Saturday.
Kolkata won with 34 balls remaining as Pathan ” who was dropped on zero and 15 ” smashed seven sixes and five fours in a breathtaking 22-ball knock.
Openers Robin Uthappa (41) and Gautam Gambhir (28) also played key roles for the victors as they gave themselves two opportunities to reach the tournament final and ended Hyderabad’s season in the process.
Kolkata won the toss and elected to field and the decision reaped immediate rewards when Australian David Warner was bowled by Morne Morkel (1-32 off four) for four in the first over.
A handy 64-run partnership between Shikhar Dhawan (29) and Naman Ojha (26) followed, but crucially both were unable to convert their starts.
The same could be said for Venugopal Rao (27) as West Indian Sunil Narine (0-19 off four) and Bangladeshi Shakib Al Hasan (1-25 off four) kept things economical.
Three run-outs did not aid Hyderabad’s cause either, but lusty hitting from Darren Sammy ” who was dropped by Pathan on zero at long-on ” helped push them to 160-7.
Sammy hit three sixes in a 19-ball 29 and fellow West Indian Jason Holder (16) also chipped in.
Uthappa, the tournament’s leading run-scorer, and Gambhir gave Kolkata a fast start, adding 43 inside five overs.
Gambhir inside edged onto his stumps off Holder (1-35 off four) and Manish Pandey (two) came and went cheaply, though.
That brought Pathan to the crease, but his start was far from convincing and he really should have been dismissed from the very first ball he faced, when Srikkanth Anirudha dropped him on the mid-wicket fence.
Anirudha’s poor effort saw the ball hit his chest, but Hyderabad did get another chance to remove Pathan after Uthappa departed for his ninth successive score of 40 or more in the tournament.
It was Pathan’s lucky day, though, as South African speedster Dale Steyn (0-43 off four) spilled a chance on the square-leg boundary, and to make matters worse, the rebound sailed over for six.
Pathan hit two sixes and two fours in that over, the 11th, bowled by Parvez Rasool (0-22 off one), and he added two more maximums in the following over.
Steyn was not immune to punishment, either, as Pathan then whacked two sixes and three fours off him in an over that saw 26 runs scored.
And although Pathan eventually fell to the impressive Karn Sharma (4-38 off four), it mattered little as Suryakumar Yadav (12 not out) guided his side to victory in 14.2 overs, allowing Kolkata to move ahead of the Chennai Super Kings and finish second.
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