Gambhir guides Knight Riders past Sunrisers at 1:30am


Gautam Gambhir kept Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and knocked Sunrisers Hyderabad out as the defending champions were beaten by seven wickets in a rain-affected eliminator which finished at 1.30am local time.

KKR were set 48 to win off six overs following a long delay due to the weather at the end of Sunrisers' innings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.

Captain David Warner top scored with 37 as Sunrisers could only post 128-7, largely due to outstanding spells from Nathan Coulter-Nile (3-20) and Umesh Yadav (2-21).

Gambhir was unbeaten on 32 from 19 balls after the Knight Riders were reduced to 12-3 in a frantic run chase, the skipper ensuring his side reached their revised target with four balls to spare.

KKR will now face Mumbai Indians at the same venue on Friday, with the winner taking on Rising Pune Supergiant in the final in Hyderabad two days later.

Yadav had Shikhar Dhawan caught behind in the fifth over after Gambhir put Sunrisers in, but KKR had plenty of cause for concern with Warner - who blasted a 59-ball 126 against KKR in the regular season  - and Kane Williamson at the crease.

Sunrisers were 61-1 at the halfway mark after Williamson hit Coulter-Nile to the midwicket boundary for four and the next ball for six before Warner launched Sunil Narine into the top tier over long-on in the following over.

But Williamson (24) brought a stand of 50 for the second wicket to a tame end by slapping Coulter-Nile straight to extra-cover and Piyush Chawla struck a huge blow by removing Warner's middle stump only two balls later.

The holders were 75-3 in the 13th over when Warner departed and Sunrisers were unable to come up with a flurry of late runs thanks to some tight bowling Yadav, Coulter-Nile, Narine and Trent Boult.

A long delay followed after the heavens opened, but the game finally resumed with a huge crowd hanging around to see a dramatic conclusion.

Chris Lynn launched Bhuvneshwar Kumar over point for six second ball, but went from the following delivery and Yusuf Pathan was run out off the next ball in a frantic opening over which went for 11.

Robin Uthappa was dismissed by Chris Jordan and KKR were 27-3 after Rashid Khan conceded only six from the third over, but Gambhir held his nerve by striking two sixes and as many fours to see Kolkata through.