Mumbai, April 15 (IANS) Fighting knocks by Nitish Rana (54 off 36) and Andre Russell (49 not out off 25) helped Kolkata Knight Riders post a par score of 175/8 in 20 overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 25 of IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.
Rana came to the rescue with KKR reduced to 31/3 in the fifth over, played a well-controlled innings of 54 off 36 deliveries, hitting six fours and two sixes to take them so safety. He had lost skipper Shreyas Iyer with the score reading 70 and Sheldon Jackson as KKR cross the three-figure mark in the 13th over.
After Rana was out, caught by Pooran off Natarajan going to raise the tempo, Russell took charge and kept the scoreboard ticking before blasting two sixes off successive deliveries and a four on the last ball bowled by spinner Jagadeesha Suchith in the 20th over to propel KKR to a respectable score.
KKR could have done better on a pitch that had looked firm because of the green cover and offered good bounce.
Put in to bat first, the Knight Riders got off to a poor start as they lost three wickets with just 31 runs on the board.
Australian Opener Aaron Finch struck Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a six in the first over but was out in the next over when he tried to give Marco Jansen the same treatment and ended up edging behind to Nicholas Pooran.
Venkatesh Iyer scratched around for six off 13 deliveries before he was cleaned up by T Natarajan off his first delivery as he played all over the ball. Sunil Narine seemed in some sort of hurry as he blasted his first delivery for a six but was out off the second, trying to slice over point a low full toss angling into the middle, straight into the hands of Shashank Singh.
Skipper Shreyas Iyer, who had started with a streaky boundary, and Nitish Rana took the score to 70 before the former got out, bowled by Umran Malik with a delivery in the blackhole as he tried to make room.
With Sheldon Jackson too departing after hitting one big six, Rana perished trying to bolster the scoring rate given out by the video umpire for a faint edge behind as he tried to move away to smash the Natarajan’s delivery in the on-side.
In the end, it was left for Russell to give the score some respectability by hitting 17 runs off the final over bowled by Suchith. After Suchith had cleaned up Aman Khan, Russell hammered him for sixes off successive deliveries before ending it with a four.
Natarajan was the best Sunrisers bowler on the field as she claimed 3/37 while Umran Malik ended with 2/27.
SRH skipper Kane Williamson used his resources well but taking off Natarajan soon after his first over, in which he claimed two wickets, looked a bit strange.
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 175/8 in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 54, Andre Russell 49 not out, Shreyas Iyer 28; T Natarajan 3/37, Umran Malik 2/27) against Sunrisers Hyderabad.