Kolkata Knight Riders produced an all-round present as they registered a thumping 54-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad to keep in rivalry for IPL 2022 playoffs on the MCA Stadium in Pune on Saturday. Batting first, KKR posted a difficult 177/6 after which stopped SRH at 123/8 for his or her sixth win in 13 makes an attempt which has seen them climb as much as the sixth spot within the standings.
SRH by no means appeared within the chase as they misplaced captain Kane Williamson and Rahul Tripathi cheaply. Opener Abhishek Sharma (43) and Aiden Markram (32) tried to rebuild the innings however KKR continued to hit them with common strikes.
Russell, who earlier starred with the bat to push KKR to what turned out to be a profitable whole, dazzled with the ball to as he took 3/22 from his 4 overs.
Earlier, Umran Malik was again in his groove after a couple of forgettable outings as he ran via KKR top-order earlier than Russell’s 49 not out propel them to 177/6.
Also Read: KKR vs SRH Match Highlights
Russell together with Sam Billings (34 off 29 balls) added 63 runs for the sixth wicket serving to them get well from a tough 94/5 at one stage.
KKR added 58 runs within the final 5 overs, primarily resulting from Russell as he hit three sixes off three full-tosses bowled by off-break bowler Washington Sundar (0/40 in 4 overs).
Malik (3/33 in 4 overs), who had gone for 120-odd runs in his final 10 overs (throughout 3 video games) and that too wicketless, was again in his component as he bowled quick and straight to eliminate Nitish Rana (26 off 16 balls), Ajinkya Rahane (28 off 23 balls) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (15 off 9 balls) in his first two overs to peg again KKR.
He did get good help from T Natarajan (1/43), who nailed the block-hole deliveries with perfection, eliminating Rinku Singh (5), who missed out on taking overview though it might have counted for little.
Venkatesh Iyer’s “second season blues” continued as he chopped one from Marco Jansen (1/30 in 4 overs) onto the stumps.
As far as Rahane is concerned, he has well past his IPL sell-by date and even three sixes couldn’t hide the fact that he played a lot of dot balls and once he started cramping, it became even more difficult to rotate the strike.
Finally he was out when he slashed hard at a wide rising delivery and Shashank Singh at sweeper cover fence maintained perfect body balance in a side on position to latch on to the catch.
The KKR batting finally looked good when Russell and Billings took the attack back to the opposition camp with some big blows after initial period of struggle.
While the Jamaican had three fours and four sixes to his name, Billings, on his part, hit three fours and one maximum.
Towards the end of the innings, wily Bhuvneshwar bowled his change-ups to lessen Russell’s scoring areas as he had an impressive 13 dot balls in his entire spell.
The win has improved KKR’s hopes of a top-four finish but SRH will not only have to win their final two games but also hope other results go their way to make it to the playoffs now.
With PTI Inputs