IPL 2022: Andre Russell all-round show nails it for KKR

IPL 2022: Andre Russell all-round show nails it for KKR

Umran Malik would have thought he had produced the most impactful phase of the match and Sunrisers Hyderabad would take charge from there. Three wickets in a row as Ajinkya Rahane, Nitish Rana and Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Shreyas Iyer were prised out by the speedster.

That was until Andre Russell took charge. He blasted an unbeaten 49 (28b, 3×4, 4×6) to take KKR to 177/6 and then grabbed a three-for as Sunrisers were restricted to 123/8, KKR easing to a 54-run win in Pune. With 12 points and a game left, KKR are in with a mathematical chance.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have only themselves to blame for the situation they are in. They too are still in with a mathematical chance of getting into the playoffs with two games in hand, but their game hasn’t inspired confidence among their fans.

SRH had it under control in the first half of the match. Kolkata were reeling at 94/5 in the 12th over before Russell and Sam Billings resurrected the innings. And again, at 157 with just six balls left in their innings, SRH skipper Kane Williamson made a tactical blunder by giving the last over to off-spinner Washington Sundar, that too against power-hitter Russell.

Russell smoked three sixes as 20 runs came off that over and all of a sudden Kolkata had 177, a total good enough to give their bowlers a fighting chance.

In the end, KKR bowlers picked wickets at regular intervals. Russell had said after his innings, “based on the wicket, it looks good and 170 is definitely a good score. If we get one or two wickets early in the powerplay, we can definitely peg them back.”

After the win, the Jamaican all-rounder said: “When I went out there, batting wasn’t easy. 165-170 was very good and we got eight runs over. We have a good bowling attack and two good spinners. My mindset is very clear when I go out to bat, not thinking about situations. My job is to go after it from ball one, sometimes I hit the first ball in the nets for a six.”

Williamson had a forgetful night as he was dismissed for nine and when Rahul Tripathi also fell, Hyderabad were merely delaying the inevitable. Opener Abhishek Sharma scored 43 and Aiden Markram 32 but the second half of the night was controlled KKR bowlers as Shreyas Iyer rotated them, not letting any partnership develop. When Markram fell at the total of 99 in the 15th over, SRH had already lost their way.

Umesh Yadav and Tim Southee were outstanding with the new ball and spinners Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy kept a tight leash in the middle overs. But like in their batting, Russell was the star with the ball, taking 3/22, proving decisive with bat and ball for the second game in a row.

Hyderabad suffered their fifth defeat in a row. They now have 10 points in 12 games and even two wins in the last two games can only take them to 14 points—and the big loss tonight pushed their net run rate further down. Kolkata on the other hand have 12 points but they have only one game in hand. A win in their last game can also take them to a maximum of only 14 points, which ultimately may not be enough to take them to the playoffs.

Brief Scores: KKR 177/6 (A Rahane 28, A Russell 49*, U Malik 3/33); SRH 123/8 (Abhishek 43, A Markram 32, T Southee 2/23, A Russell 3/22). KKR won by 54 runs.

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