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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

KKR seize dramatic win from jaws of defeat

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Hyderabad: In yet another nail biting final finish, the Kolkata Knight Riders found a way to wrestle an incredible win from the jaws of defeat courtesy an excellent last over from Varun Chakravarthy.

Electing to bat first in a wicket that looked a touch slowish, Kolkata braved the early loss of wickets to put on a competitive 171 on the board.

In reply, the Sunrisers Hyderabad fell short by 5 runs finishing with 166/9 at the end of their 20 overs giving Kolkata a crucial win on the road.

After the departures of Rahamanullah Gurbaz, Jason Roy and Venkatesh left Kolkata at a precarious 35/3, skipper Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh put on a vital stand of 61 runs to steady the ship.

Rana, once again led from the front hitting 3 fours and sixes in his 42 (31) supported by Rinku 46 (35) who continued his stellar form with the bat this season.

Andre Russell’s 25 (14) and Anukul Roy’s 13 (7) added some much needed late impetus to the scoreboard.

In response, Kolkata bowlers began the defence in admirable fashion restricting Hyderabad to 54/4 in 6.2 overs with Shardul Thakur, Harshit Rana and Russell all picking wickets in the powerplay to keep Kolkata in the game.

A 70 run stand between Hyderabad Captain Aiden Markram and Henrich Klaasen then threatened to take the game away from Kolkata before Shardul returned to dismiss the latter for 36 with the score reading 124/5.

With just 47 runs to defend from the last 35 balls, Kolkata bowled admirably in the death overs with pacer Vaibhav Arora dismissing Markram and Jansen to put Hyderabad under tremendous pressure.

Varun however was the hero on the night, defending 9 runs in the last over. The wily spinner gave away just 8 runs in his final 3 overs in a spell for the ages as he helped Kolkata claim a memorable win.

Speaking after the match, Rana credited the win to the bowlers Shardul, Vaibhav and Varun for bringing back Kolkata in the game and ultimately winning it.

Skipper Rana said he backed his bowlers to do the job in the final over and he won them the 2 points on the night. Varun, who was rightfully awarded the Man of the Match Award, said that his plan was to challenge the batsmen to go over the bigger boundaries on the leg side and this helped him bag the wicket of Samad in the final over which proved decisive.

Kolkata will now return home to take on the Punjab in another must win game at the Eden Gardens on Monday.

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