The mouthwatering clash between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad ended in victory for the former. It was a stunning run chase scripted by KKR batsmen with Andre Russell playing a blinder of an innings and Nitish Rana and Shubhman Gill giving him support at the other end.
SRH dominated the match for almost 37 overs and when it looked almost over for KKR, they bounced back in the 18th over bowled by Siddarth Kaul. 53 runs were required before the start of that over. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had just bowled an excellent 17th over in which he gave away just 6 runs and everyone in Eden Gardens except Andre Russell believed that the match was almost over.
SRH scored 19 runs in the 17th over bowled by Kaul with Andre Russell scoring 18 of them. SRH skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar decided to bowl the penultimate over to pick up wickets and to arrest the flow of runs but what unfolded was nothing short of massacre by Russell. 21 runs were scored off Bhuvi’s final over. This left 13 runs to be scored off the last over which was bowled by Shakib Al Hassan. Shubham Gill showed his class when he cleared the boundry twice off successive deliveries to give an unbelievable victory to KKR.
Russell scored an unbeaten 49 off 19 deliveries with 4 sixes and 4 fours while Shubhman Gill scored 18 not out off 12 deliveries which included 2 mighty sixes off Shakib Al Hassan.
Earlier Nitish Rana (68 off 47) and Robin Uthappa (35 off 27) steadied the KKR innings with an 80 runs partnership after they had lost Chris Lynn for 7 to Shakib. KKR skipper, Dinesh Karthik, couldn’t do much with the bat as he was caught by his opposite number, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, off an otherwise expensive Sandeep Sharma for 2.
SRH had a new opening pair in David Warner and Jonny Bairstow and what an opening stand they gave. Their 118 runs opening wicket partnership left KKR bowlers clueless. Warner’s one-year ban couldn’t bring down his spirit and he was on fire today. Scoring 85 runs off 53 balls, he scored the much-needed runs for SRH but Bairstow was bowled by Piyush Chawla for 39 runs off 35 balls just when it looked as if KKR bowlers have lost the art of taking wickets.
David Warner’s dismissal by Andre Russell gave a major blow to SRH innings but Vijay Shankar hit some lusty blows towards the end and scored a quick 40 off 24 balls to provide respectability to SRH score.
Andre Russell was declared the man of the match for his brilliant performance with bat and ball.