Rediff.com  » Cricket » IPL PIX: Russell's all-round show powers KKR to win

IPL PIX: Russell's all-round show powers KKR to win

Last updated on: May 15, 2022 00:30 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Images from the IPL 2022 match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders at the MCA International Stadium in Pune on Saturday.

IMAGE: Andre Russell celebrates the wicket of SRH captain Kane Williamson. Photograph: BCCI

Andre Russell's all-round brilliance kept Kolkata Knight Riders in contention for a play-off berth as they recorded a comprehensive 54- run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a must-win IPL game at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Saturday.

 

Russell smashed an unbeaten 49 off 28 balls to rally KKR to 177/6 in 20 overs after they were struggling on 94/5 at one stage.

In reply, SRH were never in the hunt as they huffed and puffed their way to 123/8 against a collective bowling effort from Shreyas Iyer's men with the flamboyant Jamaican finishing with best figures of 3/22.

IMAGE: Tim Southee takes the catch off his own bowling to dismiss Rahul Tripathi. Photograph: BCCI

Umesh Yadav (1/19 in 4 overs), Tim Southee (2/23 in 4 overs), Varun Chakravarthy (1/25 in 4 overs) and Sunil Narine (1/34 in 4 overs) -- all stuck to their respective game plans with near-perfect executions over after over.

KKR now have 12 points from 13 games with a net run-rate of +0.160 to jump to sixth place.

With Rajasthan Royals (14 from 12) and RCB (14 from 13 games) having chance to move up, even a victory is unlikely to be enough for KKR to advance to the play-offs.

For Sunrisers, 10 points from 12 games with a dismal NRR of -0.270 means that even two big wins and 14 points might not be enough after five straight defeats.

While he is a sentimental favourite among Indian cricket lovers, a lot of SRH's poor batting show could be attributed to skipper Kane Williamson's nightmarish season that has yielded only 208 runs in 12 games at an average of less than 19 and a strike-rate of 92.85.

IMAGE: KKR's players celebrate after Varun Chakravarthy dismissed Abhishek Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

Williamson (9 off 17 balls) has been SRH's weakest link this season and his failure at the top of the order has been one of the biggest reasons for their slump.

It was an ordeal for Williamson till Russell bowled one on the stumps to end his misery. Rahul Tripathi (9) also looked scratchy even as Abhishek Sharma (43 off 28 balls) attacked Sunil Narine, hitting him for two sixes.

It was Tim Southee's brilliant reflex return catch that ended Tripathi's innings.

At the halfway stage, SRH weren't in a very comfortable position at 66/2. Once Abhishek was dismissed by Varun Chakaravarthy (1/25) and Narine took a fine return catch to dismiss SRH's big hope Nicholas Pooran (2), there wasn't much resistance from the rest of the batters.

IMAGE: KKR's Andre Russell hits a six during the IPL 2022 match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, Umran Malik was back in his groove after a few forgettable outings as he ran through Kolkata Knight Riders' top-order before Russell rallied KKR with a counter-attacking unbeaten 49.

Russell slammed three sixes in the final over bowled by off-spinner Sundar Washington as KKR were able to hit 58 from the last five overs.
 
The West Indian brought KKR back on track as he put on 63 runs for the sixth wicket with Sam Billings, who made 34 off 29 balls.

IMAGE: KKR opener Venkatesh Iyer is bowled by Marco Jansen. Photograph: BCCI

Malik was back to his wicket-taking ways as he finished with good figures of 3/33 in four overs. He dismissed Nitish Rana (26 off 16 balls), Ajinkya Rahane (28 off 23 balls) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (15 off 9 balls) in his first two overs to peg back KKR.

He got good support from Thangarasu Natarajan (1/43), who nailed the block-hole deliveries with perfection, getting rid of Rinku Singh (5), who missed out on taking the review although it would have counted for little.

IMAGE: Umran Malik celebrates after taking the wicket of Nitish Rana. Photograph: BCCI

Venkatesh Iyer's below-par showing with the bat continued as he chopped one from Marco Jansen back on to his stumps.

Rahane struggled to get going and even though he hit three sixes, he struggled to get the ball in the gap for singles and after he started cramping, things got even more difficult.

He was caught at sweeper cover as he slashed at a short wide delivery from Malik, who dented KKR's top order by also dismissing Rana and Iyer in quick succession.

IMAGE: Sunrisers Hyderabad's players celebrate after Umran Malik dismissed Ajinkya Rahane. Photograph: BCCI

The KKR batting finally looked good when Russell and Billings took the attack back to the opposition camp with some big blows after initial period of struggle.

While the Jamaican had three fours and four sixes to his name, Billings, on his part, hit three fours and one maximum.

Towards the end of the innings, the experienced Bhuvneshwar bowled his change-ups to lessen Russell's scoring areas as he had an impressive 13 dot balls in his entire spell.

 

 

 

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

IPL 2022

IPL 2022