Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) registered a victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match 3 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.
Fifties from Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi powered KKR to a competitive total and the Eoin Morgan-led unit successfully managed to hold their nerves against SRH to seal a 10-run win.
Chasing a challenging total of 188, the SRH openers were back in the hut before they could attack the new ball. While David Warner nicked one to the keeper off the bowling of Prasidh Krishna, Wriddhiman Saha chopped a Shakib Al Hasan delivery onto the stumps.
Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey played steadily, ending the powerplay with 35 runs on the board. Pandey smashed a six against Shakib over long-off in the seventh over as SRH started to shift gears. Andre Russell, who bowled the next over, gave away 15 runs as Bairstow targeted him, hitting two fours and a six.
The Bairstow-Pandey duo brought up their fifty-run partnership and continued to score at a brisk pace.
However, just when it seemed that SRH were positively heading towards the target Pat Cummins dismissed Bairstow to give KKR a vital breakthrough in the 13th over.
Pandey continued striking the ball and was joined by Mohammad Nabi who smashed two boundaries before mistiming a Prasidh Krishna delivery, giving an easy catch to KKR skipper Eoin Morgan.
Although Pandey brought up his fifty, SRH required something special at the death in order to chase the total.
While Vijay Shankar was dismissed slicing the ball straight to Morgan at covers, Abdul Samad smacked two huge sixes off Cummins in the penultimate over.
But, with SRH needing 22 runs off the last over, Russell held his nerves and helped KKR successfully defend their total.
Gill, on the other end, with his glorious balance and poise, got off the mark with a four. The slowness and the pace variations of Sandeep Sharma didn’t affect Rana’s confidence as he smashed the pacer for three boundaries in a row.
The opening duo brought up their fifty partnership, and didn’t shy away from playing the aerial shots, timing them to perfection.
With SRH needing a wicket, Warner introduced Rashid Khan into the attack in the seventh over and the leg-spinner struck in the very first over with a beautiful googly that bamboozled Gill.
In the next over, Rahul Tripathi, who joined Rana in the middle, lofted a drive for a maximum over long-off.
Rana notched up his half-century in style with a maximum, attacking the right-arm medium pacer, Vijay Shankar in the 10th over. KKR were placed at 83-1 at the halfway mark and Rana continued the exploits, making full use of the crease.
Tripathi complimented the left-hander, piling runs quickly on the other end. The right-hander, who had earlier completed 1000 IPL runs, smacked two sixes and a four in the 15th over to bring up his half-century before being dismissed by T Natarajan in the sixteenth over.
Rashid, as always came to the rescue once again for the Sunrisers after he picked the huge wicket of Russell before the right-hander could cause any damage.
SRH capitalised on that Russell dismissal as Mohammad Nabi got the dangerous-looking Rana and then dismissed the KKR skipper Morgan on consecutive deliveries.
Dinesh Karthik played a nice cameo in the end, scoring 22 off 9 deliveries as KKR finished their innings, setting a target of 188 for SRH.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 187-6 (Nitish Rana 80, Rahul Tripathi 53, Rashid Khan 2/24) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 177-5 (Manish Pandey 61, Jonny Bairstow 55, Prasidh Krishna 2/35) by 10 runs