Russell's 49 * and three goals keep the Knight Riders' hopes alive

Russell’s 49 * and three goals keep the Knight Riders’ hopes alive


Knight Riders of Calcutta 177 for 6 (Russell 49 *, Billings 34, Malik 3-33) strike Sunrisers Hyderabad 123 for 8 (Abhishek 43, Markram 32, Russell 3-22, Southee 2-23) by 54 runs

The Kolkata Knight Riders kept their campaign alive and pushed the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s to the brink by winning 54 runs, giving them a decent increase in net runs.

It took Andre Russell a responsible shift to bring the Knight Riders into the challenging team after they decided to hit first. Russell’s 49 off 28 was one of his slowest innings of this length or more, but he waited for the end of the spinner, which the Sunrisers held for his presence in the goal area. Then, in the final pitched by Washington Sundar, he took 20 runs.

The batsmen of the Sunrisers continued their chase, and Kane Williamson joined probably the worst IPL season for batsmen and captains. Only Abhishek Sharma and Aiden Markram pushed the Knight Riders, but not long enough to jeopardize the win.

Bat first, start slowly

This is now the tenth match out of 13 in Pune, which won the side shot first. And yet it was only the second time that the team decided to hit first. Even the Sunrisers would do the same, suggesting that they expected the field to slow down. Before that came a slow start in which Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Marco Jansen gave the Knight Riders nothing. Only two boundaries came in the first four overs, which resulted in 20 runs for the loss of Venkatesh Iyer.

Transformation
Suddenly the slow shift went into overload. The runs came quickly, the goals also fell. However, before the goals fell, Nitish Rana turned a slow start with 26 out of 16. He took 17 of the 18 collected in the fifth over T Natarajan, who was returning after a break due to injury, and then scored Jansen at six. end powerplay.

However, Ajinkya Rahane seemed to be hamstring and decided to take a higher risk. Then came the high pace of Umran Malik, who eliminated Rana, Rahan, and Shreyas Iyer in his first two overs. And when Natarajan imprisoned Rinka Singh with a Yorker, Russell entered Knight Riders 94 in 5th.

gambit

Holding the offspinner back for a deadly overs is not the smartest idea on paper, but the Knight Riders were five losers and Williamson may have hoped to get Russell out before he has to bring Washington back. His fasts were almost at their best against Russell. Malik, Bhuvneshwar and Natarajan together kept Russell and Sam Billings quiet. Russell was 10 off 11 and 30 off 23 in two points in his inning, which is usually a win for the bowling side. Billings eventually passed the run-ball, but failed to handle much damage until he fell on a slower ball from Bhuvneshwara in the 19th through.

However, in the process of finding Russell’s goal, the Sunrisers moved their spinner to the end. To his credit, Russell played percentage cricket and did not take an extravagant risk when he did not get the front ball from the fast.

Washington started the last over well with the yorker and then only conceded a single to the new launcher Sunil Narine, but the whole over is too long to run against the two hitters. Washington missed the blockhole three times out of four in the rest of the match, and Russell hit all three to six.

Abhishek, the lone warrior
In a half-time interview, Russell said 170 would be a good score and that the Knight Riders had bonus rides. This would suggest that the Sunrisers would need everything to go their separate ways. However, Williamson’s pathetic run continued with another run and ball shift. When he finally tried the ramp, Russell threw it in the fifth jump.

At the other end, however, Abhishek shot the second legend this IPL season. After scoring 47 of Rashid Khan’s 23 balls, he sent Narine to his most expensive IPL, which cost him 17 runs.

At the other end, however, the runs barely arrived. Rahul Tripathi tried as usual, but still found a player in the field, no more frustrating than a thoroughbred ride that ended up as a return for Tim Southee. Abhishek, who only faced 27 balls out of 70, eventually risked too much and skied Varun Chakravarthy.

Few took on Narine in this IPL and instead decided to play with him, which was reflected in only eight goals that he entered into this match, but also in economic terms well below six. He went 30 in his first three, but made up for it with his ninth goal of the season, Nicholas Pooran in fourth.

Since the Sunrisers now need 102 out of 45, Markram had to go into everything. He managed to hit three sixes before Umesh Yadav continued to play.

Net increase in running speed
Now it was all about the margin of defeat, because the net run-rate can fit in the final equation. Shashank Singh and Washington fired normally until the end of the 17th, but then Russell and Southee quickly reduced the goals to the Sunrisers at 123 for 8.

Sidharth Monga is Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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