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

Umran Malik would have thought that he had produced the most effective phase of the match and Sunrisers Hyderabad would take responsibility from there. Three wickets in a row when Ajinkya Rahane, Nitish Rana and Kolkata Knight Rider skipper Shreyas Iyer were praised by the speedster.

That was until Andre Russell took over. He blew an undefeated 49 (28b, 3×4, 4×6) to take KKR to 177/6 and then took a three-for when Sunrisers were limited to 123/8, KKR eased to a 54-run win in Pune. With 12 points and one match left, KKR has a mathematical chance.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have only themselves to blame for the situation they are in. Even they still have a mathematical chance to get into the playoffs with two games in hand, but their game has not inspired the fans to trust.

SRH had it under control in the first half of the match. Kolkata rolled on 94/5 in the 12th over before Russell and Sam Billings revived the inning. And again, at 157 with only six balls left in his innings, SRH skipper Kane Williamson made a tactical blunder by passing the last over to off-spinner Washington Sundar, also against power-hitter Russell.

Russell smoked three sixes when 20 runs came over and all of a sudden Kolkata had 177, totally good enough to give his bowlers a chance to fight.

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

After the win, the Jamaican all-rounder said: “When I went out there it was not easy to beat. 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 “goes out to hit, does not think 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 when he was fired at nine and when Rahul Tripathi also fell, Hyderabad only delayed the inevitable. The opener Abhishek Sharma got 43 and Aiden Markram 32 but the second half of the night were controlled KKR bowlers when Shreyas Iyer rotated them, without letting any partnership develop. When Markram fell to a total of 99 in the 15th over, SRH had already lost the road.

Umesh Yadav and Tim Southee were outstanding with the new ball and spinners Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy kept a tight leash in midfield. But just like in their stroke, Russell was the star with the ball, taking 3/22, which proved to be crucial with the bat and ball for the second game in a row.

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

Short points: 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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