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. Earlier, KKR rode on a superlative show by their bowlers to restrict Sunrisers to a sub-par score.
It got a little into the "MI better be careful here" zone when Ambati Rayudu (6, 11b) was bowled by a brilliant delivery from Chawla, but the Mumbai Indians, knowing the only way KKR were going to win this match was by picking up all ten wickets, only needed one small partnership to deflate their opponents. KKR's intensity and aggression was there for all to see; the pacers generally banged the ball in short of length, and did not give the batsmen any room, or lengths to play the drives. The pressure built up steadily, and that eventually resulted in the dismissal of Shikhar Dhawan (11 from 13 balls), who attempted to break the shackles but top-edged to the wicket-keeper.
The duo stitched 50 runs for the second wicket off 44 balls balls. Both batsmen struggled to force the pace early on and were a shadow of the fluent batsmen they're known to be. In the following over, Williamson whipped one to the midwicket boundary, before depositing one into the stands at square-leg.
KKR's innings was just an absolute disaster, with only a solid partnership between Ishank Jaggi and Suryakumar Yadav keeping the score respectable.
Vijay Shankar played some explosive shots to score 22 from 17 balls but was a victim to KKR fast bowler Coulter-Nile.
After opting to bowl, the MI bowlers destroyed their opponents, bundling them out for 107 after which their batsmen chased down the runs in 14.3 overs.
Returning to the side after an injury lay-off, Nathan Coulter-Nile (3/20) impressed with the ball.
KKR overwhelmed the target with four balls to spare. KKR were good with their catching too.
But Shankar was out soon with Coulter-Nile taking his wicket only to pull off a superb catch off his own bowling to sent Chris Jordan back in the dugout for a golden duck.
KKR managed to post just 107 in 18.5 overs. Robin Uthappa did not last long too, holing out to Shikhar Dhawan at deep mid wicket off Chris Jordan's bowling. The first seven overs of the first innings was where the match was settled more or less. They did make things hard for themselves by losing three early wickets but skipper Gautam Gambhir took the team over the line to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.
Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians will now meet in the playoff on Friday at the same venue with the victor going through the final against Rising Pune Supergiant on Sunday in Hyderabad.