Pathan seals play-off place for Knight Riders


Yusuf Pathan made an unbeaten 52 as Kolkata Knight Riders booked their place in the Indian Premier League play-offs with a 22-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.

The two-time champions knew victory would guarantee their top-four place and after Pathan and Manish Pandey (48) had starred with the bat, Sunil Narine (3-26) led the bowling attack with aplomb.

Pathan and Pandey added a much-needed injection of runs in the middle order after a steady start at Eden Gardens, the duo sharing an 87-run stand as Kolkata reached 171-6 in their 20 overs.

Shikhar Dhawan (51) threatened to spoil their day as he returned to form with a half century, but he had little in the way of support as David Warner (18) and Yuvraj Singh (19) failed to reach 20 to leave the Sunrisers short.

Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir (16) and Robin Uthappa (25) had provided a solid base from which the hosts could build from but the loss of three wickets in four overs saw them slip from 33-0 to 57-3.

Any momentum Hyderabad thought they had was quickly ruined by the fourth-wicket stand between Pathan and Pandey, the pair both favouring the leg side as Karn Sharma and Mustafizur Rahman found themselves on the receiving end of their attacking approach.

Dhawan's fourth 50 of this season's competition offered reasons to be positive for Sunrisers, but their other star players failed to fire.

Warner was one of Narine's three victims before Shakib Al Hasan (1-34) had Yuvraj caught in the deep with five overs remaining.

Hyderabad - who are also confirmed in the play-offs - still needed 61 at that stage but a disciplined bowling display saw the runs dry up, handing Kolkata the win they needed to keep their season going.