A combined bowling effort helped KKR to edge past SRH in a must-win game

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) batters yet again let their team down and handed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) a much-needed 5-run win at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Defending 172, KKR bowlers did a fantastic job to take wickets at crucial moments and held their nerves to clinch a victory in a final-over thriller, keeping their side alive in the IPL playoffs race. KKR’s mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy bowled a brilliant 20th over and successfully defended 9 runs to seal the win.

Nitish Rana’s decision to bat first seemed to be a bad plan as SRH pacer Marco Jansen dismissed Rahmanullah Gurbaz (0) and Venkatesh Iyer (7) in the second over of the innings. Explosive opener Jason Roy walked back after chipping in with 20. SRH bowlers read the pitch conditions well and bowled accordingly.

Rana and Rinku Singh came up with a fruitful 61-run partnership to steady their ship before Aiden Markram bagged Rana (42). Mayank Markande then dismissed the dangerous batter Andre Russell who scored a quickfire 24. Rinku contributed a handy 46 and helped KKR to post 171/9 in 20 overs. For SRH, Jansen and Natarajan scalped two wickets each.

SRH started their chase well with Mayank Agarwal hitting few boundaries but KKR bounced back strong by dismissing Agarwal (18) and Abhishek Sharma (9) in consecutive overs. Russell then bagged Rahul Tripathi (20) who looked dangerous with his pure hitting. Anukul Roy struck in the very next over, dismissing Harry Brook for a duck. However, Markram (41) and Henrich Klaasen (36) stitched a fine 70-run partnership to turn the game on their side. But KKR bowlers bowled brilliantly to pick up wickets when needed and won the game.