In yet another nail-biting encounter in Match 47 of TATA IPL 2023, Kolkata Knight Riders bounced back after a defeat against Gujarat Titans to register a crucial win against Sunrisers Hyderabad by 5 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
After being asked to bat first, KKR suffered an early stutter but Nitish Rana (42 off 31) and Rinku Singh (46 off 35) played impactful knocks to help the team post a competitive total of 171/9.
The KKR bowlers showed nerves of steel under pressure to clinch a five-run victory with Varun Chakaravarthy defending nine runs off the final over.
The toss was won by Nitish Rana, captain of Kolkata Knight Riders, who chose to bat first. Sunrisers Hyderabad started strong with Marco Jansen taking early wickets of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Venkatesh Iyer.
However, Jason Roy counterattacked and hit two consecutive fours off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first over. Kartik Tyagi then claimed the wicket of Jason Roy in his first over, leaving KKR struggling at 49/3 at the end of the Powerplay.
Rinku Singh hit a boundary off Tyagi to get off the mark, while Rana hit a couple of fours off Jansen to keep the scoreboard ticking. Rana continued the onslaught with a couple of sixes and a four off Tyagi, taking KKR to 90/3 at the halfway mark.
Markram produced a moment of brilliance with a superb caught and bowled to break the 61-run partnership between Rana and Singh. Andre Russell joined the game and hit two sixes off the first four balls he faced, but he was outfoxed by Markande and dismissed for an outside edge to backward point.
Bhuvneshwar then deceived Narine with a knuckleball, and he was caught by extra cover. Although Rinku Singh hit a six, wickets kept falling as Natarajan sent back Shardul for 8(6). Anukul Roy was brought in as the Impact Player, replacing Jason Roy at No.9, and he hit a couple of fours off Bhuvneshwar in the penultimate over, taking 13 off it.
Rinku Singh missed out on his fifty, getting caught out by Natarajan for 46(35), while Harshit Rana was run out by the bowler in a risky bye attempt. Natarajan gave away just three runs in the last over as KKR finished with a total of 171/9.
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In response, SRH got off to a breezy start, but KKR managed to pick up wickets at crucial intervals to put pressure on the home side. Captain Aiden Markram (41 off 40) and Heinrich Klaasen (36 off 20) played crucial knocks for SRH, but they fell short in the end.
Mayank Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma were dismissed early, but Rahul Tripathi (20 off 9) provided some momentum before being dismissed by Andre Russell.
SRH received another huge blow as they lost Harry Brook (0 off 4), trapped LBW by Anukul Roy. Klaasen then injected some momentum with two massive sixes off Anukul Roy, but Shardul Thakur got the breakthrough by dismissing Klaasen caught at deep mid-wicket.
Markram and Abdul Samad cracked a few boundaries to keep the run chase alive, but SRH kept losing wickets at crucial intervals. In the end, the equation came down to 9 off the last over, and Varun Chakaravarthy defended it brilliantly to hand KKR a thrilling victory.
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