KKR won their fourth game of the season, moving them to 8 points in IPL 2023 while SRH dropped to 6 points.
This time it was the hitters for Sunrisers Hyderabad who let their team down, losing by five runs to the Nitish Rana-led Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League on Thursday. After a productive 61-run stand between Rana and Rinku Singh helped KKR post 171 for nine, their bowlers, led by Shardul Thakur (2/23) and Vaibhav Arora (2/32), restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to 166 for eight in 20 overs, clinching the IPL title for KKR for the second time in three years. Thanks to a superb 20th over from Varun Chakaravarthy, his team was able to pull out a narrow victory. KKR improved to 8 points with their fourth win of the season, while SRH’s playoff hopes were severely dented by their continued isolation on 6.
South Africans Aiden Markram (41 off 40 balls) and Heinrich Klaasen (36 off 20 balls) led SRH and, for a while, it looked like they were going to win the match for their team with their 70-run partnership, making this triumph for KKR all the more impressive.
The host team was doomed when Markram and Klaasen, who had played impressive innings, were dismissed in quick succession.
When the KKR team was struggling at 49 for three at the end of the powerplay, Rana and Rinku came together at the crease.
Rana’s 31-ball 42 included three fours and as many sixes, and by the time he was out in the 12th over, the side was well on its way to a respectable score.
Rinku (46 off 35 balls) reined in his natural tendency and batted patiently to give his team a respectable score to defend while wickets fell at the other end (with West Indians Andre Russell and Sunil Narine having a little effect).
KKR’s opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz failed to repeat his performance from the previous game against Gujarat Titans, as the team got off to a disappointing start.
The 21-year-old Afghanistan opener was out on the first delivery of the second over, caught by Harry Brook at mid-on off a length ball from South African fast Marco Jansen.
Five balls later, wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen took an easy catch off the bat of Venkatesh Iyer as the tall bowler Jansen threw down the short stuff that the KKR batter awkwardly tried to hook.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a seamer for India, held the other end together, allowing only 12 runs in his first two overs as the host team got off to another slow start.
This cricketer from Uttar Pradesh took the key wicket of England opener Jason Roy after bowling two wides and a no-ball.
An intentional cross-bat heave from Roy took a big edge and sailed to the short third man, where Mayank Agarwal made an easy catch.
Similarly, SRH’s chase got off to a shaky start as KKR speed bowler Harshit Rana again highlighted SRH opener Mayank Agarwal’s vulnerability against short-pitched deliveries. Rana tested the opening with a delivery that clocked in at 140 kph and was directed towards the body on the middle and leg stump, where the batsman was at ease playing his strokes on both sides of the wicket.
To keep his head from getting hurt, Mayank played a defensive hook and lobbed the ball to the goalie.
Russell lunged forward to grab a catch at deep backward square off a Shardul delivery, bringing the score to 37 for 2 in the fourth over and putting the pressure back on the shaky SRH top-order after Mayank’s cheap dismissals.