The Kolkata Knight Riders won the rain-affected contest against the Rising Pune Supergiants by eight wickets at Eden Gardens on Saturday.
The victory moved KKR up to second, level on points with top-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad, while the Rising Pune Supergiants have not enjoyed their first season in the IPL, as they became the first side to be officially ruled out of playoff contention.
It’s been a season dogged by injuries to key players for Pune, but their defeat on Saturday evening was perhaps a bit unfortunate, as KKR only required 66 from the reduced nine overs after the lengthy rain delay, which was ultimately a simple task, and one which was done in just five overs.
They struggled from the onset thanks to some excellent opening bowling from Andre Russell, who took the early wicket of Ajinkya Rahane for two, before finishing with figures of 1-11 from two overs. Morne Morkel didn’t enjoy the success that the other bowlers did to finish on 0-22 from his three overs.
The spinners did the rest of the work, as Piyush Chawla took two wickets, while Sunil Narine conceded a paltry 10 runs from his 3.4 overs. Skipper MS Dhoni, who scored eight off 22 balls, misses out on a spot in the playoffs for the first time in his nine years as an IPL player.
Early wickets gave the Supergiants an unlikely strand of hope in response, as Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa fell for 0 and 4 respectively, but it was only going to require one batsman to stand up and do the job, and Yusuf Pathan took that responsibility with 37 off just 18 balls, to see his side coast over the line, with a playoff spot all but guaranteed for the 2014 champions.