The likes of Chris Lynn and Rinku Singh played out the majority of overs and it didn't help Kolkata in any way possible. All Russell got was two overs to make an impact and he couldn't as Kolkata were restricted to a below-par total of 159 for 8 on a surface that was good for batting.
However, such was not the case with Hyderabad as their openers David Warner (38-ball 67) and Jonny Bairstow (43-ball 80*) ripped Kolkata apart with their fourth 100-plus partnership this season. The two added 131 runs in 12.2 overs as Hyderabad raced to a nine-wicket win at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium and leapfrogged Kings XI Punjab to take the No. 4 spot in the points table.
Asked to bat, Sunil Narine did his thing and got Kolkata off to an expeditious start. Hyderabad made the mistake of bowling Shahbaz Nadeem to Narine and the left-handed batsman from Trinidad smoked him for two sixes before smashing Khaleel Ahmed (3 for 33) for 6, 4 and 4 in three consecutive deliveries. The paceman got his revenge in the fourth ball when he knocked Narine over for 8-ball 25 with a slower delivery.
The visiting side were 42 for 1 in 2.4 overs when Narine perished but failed to keep up the momentum. Shubman Gill (3), Nitish Rana (11) and Dinesh Karthik (6) departed without contributing much and Kolkata were reduced to 73 for 4. With wickets falling at the other end, Lynn couldn't play his natural game and ended up playing way too many deliveries.
He did add 51 runs with Rinku for the fifth wicket but found no momentum at any stage. The two didn't put any pressure on Hyderabad spinners and allowed them to dictate terms. Rinku tried going after Sandeep Sharma, hitting him for two maximums, but was caught at deep mid-wicket for 25-ball 30.
That's when Russell (15) finally came out to bat but hardly got any strike in the first two overs. Lynn tried to make up for the slow start but was caught at the cover region for 47-ball 51 in the bowling of Khaleel. Piyush Chawla then played out the entire over of Rashid and the entire burden once again fell on the shoulders of Russell.
The big-hitting all-rounder did manage to send a couple of deliveries over the deep square leg fence but was caught at the same region off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's bowling. Despite collecting 13 runs in the final over, it was clear that Kolkata were at least 20-30 runs short.
Kolkata needed early wickets but all they got was a severe beating at the hands of Warner and Bairstow. The duo has been in outstanding form this season and they were once again at their very best.
Karthik played all his cards in the first six overs but found no success as Warner and Bairstow accumulated 72 runs in the powerplay. The boundaries kept coming from both the ends and in the process, Warner also went past the 500-run mark this season.
The likes of Narine, Chawla and KC Cariappa were simply swept aside by Bairstow, while Warner was slightly more versatile with his shots. To make it worse, Kolkata were horrible on the field and dropped quite a few simple chances.
Debutant Yarra Prithviraj ended up with the figures of 1 for 29 but the left-arm pacer actually bowled way better than other bowlers. It was the 21-year-old who knocked over Warner, but only after he had slammed three fours and five maximums, to give Kolkata their only breakthrough.
Meanwhile, Bairstow hit seven fours and four sixes and knocked Kolkata out with 4, 6 and 6 in the 15th over. The Englishman (445) now already has more runs than any other player in their debut season (excluding the inaugural edition) and he still has one more game to go before he leaves for his country for an international assignment.
First Published: April 21, 2019, 7:35 PM IST