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IPL 2019: Russell Blitz Helps KKR Snatch Last-gasp Victory

No match is over when Andre Russell is in the middle. That was on display once again at Eden Gardens where Kolkata Knight Riders plucked victory from the jaws of defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday (March 24).

Cricketnext Staff |March 25, 2019, 10:16 AM IST
IPL 2019: Russell Blitz Helps KKR Snatch Last-gasp Victory

No match is over when Andre Russell is in the middle. That was on display once again at Eden Gardens where Kolkata Knight Riders plucked victory from the jaws of defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday (March 24).

Chasing 182, Kolkata needed 68 off 30 at one stage, which soon became 57 off 18. Russell smashed four sixes and as many fours en route a 19-ball 49* to power them home. Nitish Rana had earlier played his part with a 47-ball 68 while David Warner's 53-ball 85 went in vain.

Kolkata's chase started with Chris Lynn hitting Shakib Al Hasan for a straight six but the bowler had the final laugh, making Lynn miscue to cover. From there on, it was a case of preserving wickets for the end while ensuring the required run-rate didn't go out of control.

Nitish Rana, who was promoted to opening the batting, took use of the opportunity with a well paced knock. Robin Uthappa, returning after an injury lay off, seemed in fine touch too as Kolkata got 47 runs in the Power Play. He should have been out on 18, but Yusuf Pathan dropped a sitter at long-off off Rashid Khan's bowling.

At the half-way mark, Kolkata didn't have a massive score - 70 - but had nine wickets in hand. It was set up beautifully for a tense finish - Kolkata's power hitting against Hyderabad's bowling unit.

The latter fought back with the wickets of Uthappa and Karthik in quick succession, but Rana kept Kolkata going, crossing his half-century. When he seemed in full flow, a break due to floodlight failure in the 16th over resulted in his dismissal to Rashid Khan.

Kolkata needed 57 in the last three overs, but the game wasn't done because Russell was just about getting himself in. He unleashed himself on Siddarth Kaul in the 18th over, which went for 18 runs.

The next over was crucial, for the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the only one who could stop Russell. That didn't happen; instead, Russell sent him for 21, bringing the equation down to 13 off 6.

Hyderabad had the option of bowling Vijay Shankar, who hadn't bowled in the game, but they went with Shakib Al Hasan. Shubman Gill made light work of the remaining runs, smashing a couple of sixes to end a stunning game.

Earlier, it was like David Warner never left the Hyderabad set up. He was back to doing what he usually does - being the heart of the batting unit.

Kolkata seemed a bit flat early on. Prasidh Krishna struggled to find his rhythm, while Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine didn't get much assistance. Narine hardly looked threatening and Warner took full toil, finding boundaries rather easily.

Jonny Bairstow, in because Kane Williamson isn't fit yet, gave steady support to Warner. He was adjusdged lbw off Chawla for just two but replays showed he got an inside edge. From then on, he played second fiddle perfectly as Hyderabad got 54 in the Power Play. Kuldeep Yadav was ineffective as well, as Hyderabad raced past 100 in 11 overs.

Kolkata didn't help themselves with some poor catching. Shubman Gill put down a tough chance off Bairstow at cover, while Dinesh Karthik dropped Warner, on 68, off Lockie Ferguson down leg side.

The breakthrough finally came when Chawla bowled Bairstow for 39 off 35. Warner too fell soon after, missing his century when he drove Andre Russell to Uthappa at extra cover. The scoring rate took a hit when Russell got Yusuf Pathan cheaply, but Vijay Shankar hit a few lusty blows and remained unbeaten on 40 off 24 to take Hyderabad past 180.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more