Sammy propels Sunrisers into playoffs
HYDERABAD, India – West Indies captain Darren Sammy blasted two sixes in the penultimate over to fire Sunrisers Hyderabad into the playoffs of the Indian Premier League here Sunday.
Chasing a moderate 131 for victory, Sunrisers completed victory by five wickets over defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders with seven balls to spare at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, to claim the final playoff spot at the expense of Chris Gayle’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Entering the contest with Sunrisers needing just 23 from 24 balls, Sammy watched as West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine sent down a maiden off the 17th over of the innings and seamer Shami Ahmed restricted scoring in the 18th over to eight runs.
With pressure building and tension rising in the Sunrisers camp, Sammy held his nerve to twice clear the ropes with left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla off the fourth and fifth deliveries of the 19th over, and finish the match in style.
He finished on 17 not out from 12 deliveries.
Sunrisers will now face Trinidadian Kevon Cooper’s Rajasthan Royals in the first playoff game on Wednesday.
Needing to win after RCB beat Chennai Super Kings by 24 runs on Saturday, Sunrisers started well, restricting to Knight Riders to 130 for seven, with Yusuf Pathan top scoring with an unbeaten 49.
South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn captured two for 24 while Sammy’s solitary over cost nine runs.
In reply, Parthiv Patel (47) and Shikhar Dhawan (42) put on 89 off 66 balls for the first wicket, to lay the foundation for Sunrisers' successful run chase.