Kolkata Knight Riders pulled off a thrilling five-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2023 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Thursday.
It all boiled down to the last over when Sunrisers needed nine runs to win with Abdul Samad and Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the crease.
But Varun Chakravarthy bowled a splendid over, conceding just three runs, besides dismissing the dangerous Samad.
When captain Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen strung a partnership of 70 runs for the fifth wicket off 47 balls, Sunrisers looked on course. Both, however, departed in quick succession to make the score read 145 for six in 16.5 overs. Pressure was back on the home team.
It was a disciplined bowling effort in the slog overs which saw Sunrisers score only 32 runs in the last five overs and lose three wickets. This eventually proved to be costly.
Earlier, Knight Riders, electing to bat, posted a decent 171 for nine in 20 overs thanks to useful contributions from captain Nitish Rana, southpaw Rinku Singh and the big-hitting Andre Russell.
Left-arm pacer Marco Jansen’s two wickets in the second over of the innings dented Knight Riders’ hopes of a breezy start. Rahmanullah Gurbaz holed out for a first-ball duck and Venkatesh Iyer was caught behind off an attempted hook.
In the fifth over, pacer Kartik Tyagi saw the dangerous Jason Roy go for the slog only to top-edge and get caught to reduce Knight Riders to 35 for three.
The early setbacks meant it lost three wickets in the PowerPlay.
Rana looked good, hitting Tyagi for a four and two pull shots which cleared the fence in the 10th over. He put on 61 runs off 40 balls for the fourth wicket with Rinku.
However, Markram pulled off a brilliant, diving catch off his own bowling. He ran all the way to the edge of the 30-yard circle to latch on to a mistimed lofted shot from his counterpart in the 12th over.
In the last five overs, Sunrisers conceded only 42 runs and picked four wickets. Left-arm pacer T. Natarajan bowled an excellent final over, conceding only three runs besides forcing Rinku to pull to deep mid-wicket, where Samad completed a brilliant diving catch.
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