Kolkata: Andre Russell’s heroics with the bat helped Kolkata Knight Riders register a thrilling six-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad here today at the Eden Garden Stadium in Kolkata.
Russell, who came into bat at number five, played a match-winning knock of 49 runs off just 19 balls to take KKR over the line in the final over of the innings.
Chasing a total of 182, KKR got off to a poor start as they lost big-hitting opener Chris Lynn for just seven runs in the second over of the innings. Shakib Al Hasan provided SRH with the first breakthrough.
Robin Uthappa, who came into bat at number three stitched a partnership of 80 runs along with the other opener Nitish Rana.
After the completion of powerplay overs, SRH were able to bog down the KKR batsman. Skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar introduced Rashid Khan into the attack, and he nearly struck immediately, but Yusuf Pathan wasn’t able to hand on to the catch to dismiss Uthappa, giving the batsman a reprieve.
As the asking rate was soaring high for the KKR batsman, both Uthappa and Rana decided to increase the tempo of their innings and they highlighted their intention in the 11th over of the innings as they went after Shakib.
Siddharth Kaul provided the much-needed breakthrough for SRH as he dismissed Uthappa for 35 runs.
KKR needed their captain Dinesh Karthik to fire in the chase, but he was sent back to the pavilion for just two runs by Sandeep Sharma.
Rana and Russell kept on striking big blows to keep the hopes alive for KKR, still needing 68 more runs off the final five overs.
The match was halted for a while as the lights went off in one of the light towers. Rashid dented the KKR’s chase as he dismissed Rana for 68 as soon as the match started after a brief break.
With 53 needed off the final three overs, Andre Russell took to Sidharth Kaul in the 18th over, scoring 19 runs and the batsman continued to go on his merry way, as he took Bhuvi to the cleaners in the penultimate over of the match scoring 21 runs.
With 13 required off the final over, Russell and Shubhman Gill were able to finish the match in a hurry taking KKR over the line by six wickets.
Earlier, KKR won the toss and they opted to bowl first.
Kane Williamson was rested for this match due to his injury and Bhuvi made his captaincy debut for SRH.
Asked to bat first, SRH’s openers gave the team an outstanding start as both Warner and Johnny Bairstow stitched together a partnership of 118 runs smashing the KKR bowlers all around the park.
Piyush Chawla provided KKR with the much-needed breakthrough as he was finally able to dismiss Bairstow for 39 runs in the 13th over of the innings.
Vijay Shankar, who came into bat at number three, looked to play with an attacking mindset from the very start, and he along with Warner stitched a quickfire stand of 26 runs.
Left-handed Warner was finally dismissed by Russell for 85 runs as Robin Uthappa took a stunning catch to send the left-hander back into the pavilion, reducing SRH to 144 for two after sixteen overs.
KKR bowlers were able to shrug off some pressure as they were able to dismiss big-hitter Yusuf quite cheaply for just 1 run.
But Shankar and Manish Pandey provided the team with some lusty blows in the final two overs to take the team total to 181 for the loss of three wickets.
Shankar and Pandey remained unbeaten on 40 and 8 respectively. Russell was the pick of the KKR bowlers as he picked up two wickets.
KKR next take on Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday, March 27 whereas SRH will play Rajasthan Royals on Friday, March 29.