Kane Williamson's team crashes out of IPL playoffs after loss to Trent Boult's side
Kane Williamson's Sunrisers Hyderabad team have been knocked out of the Indian Premier League playoffs after rain reduced their clash with Trent Boult's Kolkata Knight Riders to six overs.
The Sunrisers reached 128-7 in the IPL eliminator match at Bengaluru on Thursday with Williamson contributing 24 off 26 balls.
But heavy rain meant the Knight Riders' innings was shortened to six overs and they reached their 48-run target with three wickets down and four balls to spare after a sparkling 32 not out by captain Gautam Gambhir.
The Knight Riders clinched a seven wicket win and will now meet Mumbai - including Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan - on Friday (Saturday NZT) for a place in the IPL final.
Kolkata pace bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile returned from injury to justify his selection ahead of Black Caps all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme with a man of the match 3-20.
Gambhir sent the Sunrisers in to bat on a pitch pockmarked with cracks and dark spots.
The tricky conditions did not allow Sunrisers dangermen, captain David Warner and Williamson, to get into their batting stride and the Knight Riders' attack, led by Coulter-Nile, who pocketed his third man of the match award in seven games, bowled superbly.
Warner scored 37 off 35 balls, including two fours and two sixes.
Williamson finished with a 92.30 strike-rate with his 24 featuring three boundaries.
"We were 30 runs short. It was quite a tough wicket to bat on," Warner told ESPN Cricinfo.
"The ball was holding up a bit. It's been quite a disappointing wicket all season. And they bowled really well on it.
"The way we batted wasn't good enough and six over games can be niggly. We had to come out with positive intent, got three wickets, but we knew they would come hard and it happened."
Boult took one wicket - Sunrisers wicketkeeper Kane Naman Ojha - while conceding 30 runs off his four overs.
Gambhir, whose 32no came off 19 balls, gave "a lot of credit to the bowlers" for the Knight Riders' win.
"They set the game up for us. We should have been more sensible with the batting, though. But the bowlers restricting the Sunrisers batting to 128 was brilliant. There has been times when we've lacked intensity. And every run we stop on the field is one less to score and all 11 players were up for that. They knew that last time Sunrisers beat us in this Eliminator and they got it back for us."
The Sunrisers' exit doesn't mean Williamson will link up with the Black Caps in Ireland any earlier. The remaining IPL contingent of Williamson, Boult, de Grandhomme, Southee, McClenaghan and Martin Guptill are scheduled to join the Champions Trophy squad in London on May 25 three days before their first warmup game against India.
AT A GLANCE
Sunrisers Hyderabad 128-7 (D Warner 37, K Williamson 24, V Shankar 22; N Coulter-Nile 3-20, U Yadav 2-21) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 48-3 (G Gambhir 32no). Knight Riders won by seven wickets after rain reduced second innings to six overs.