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IPL 2024: Andre Russell, Harshit Rana help KKR survive Heinrich Klaasen Fury for thrilling four-run win over SRH | Cricket News

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Harshit Rana’s resilience in the final over and Andre Russell’s muscular fifty helped Kolkata Knight Riders survive Heinrich Klaasen’s six-hit streak and register a thrilling four-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their match IPL on Saturday. Klaassen almost turned the match around with a 29-ball 63 in which he smashed eight sixes without a single four. But SRH bravely chased down KKR’s imposing 208/7, which was built around Russell’s 54 (40b) (64, 25b) and Phil Salt, but could only make 204 for seven.

The South African took Mitchell Starc, the IPL’s costliest buy, to the cleaners, smashing him for three sixes, while Bengal cricketer Shahbaz Ahmed finished off the Australian left-armer with another six.

These 26 points meant that Starc, who joined the Knight Riders for a record fee of Rs 24.75 crore, finished with dismal figures of 4-0-53-0.

Needing 13 runs in the final over, KKR toyed with rookie pacer Rana as he was hammered for seven runs off the first two balls.

But he dismissed first Shahabaz and then Klaassen with his penultimate delivery, which came courtesy of a superb backward dive from Suyash Sharma, to give the home side a fantastic victory.

The Hyderabad team needed five runs off the last ball, but skipper Pat Cummins failed to connect the ball, as Rana finished with fine figures (3/33).

Chasing down the imposing target on a magnificent display of batting at Eden Gardens, Hyderabad found themselves at 145/5, needing 61 runs from 19 balls before the arrival of Klaasen.

Earlier, openers Mayank Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma, who both scored an identical score of 32, gave SRH a perfect start.

The duo made 60 runs in 33 balls before Agarwal was dismissed by Rana.

Before Rana swung into action, KKR’s trump card Narine displayed his sorcery. The West Indian bowled from the seventh to 13th over and gave away just 19 runs in four overs.

He took just one wicket but stifled SRH’s progress in the middle overs.

However, KKR’s fielding was an eyesore. Varun Chakravarthy’s fitness has always been a concern and this became evident when he dropped a cart to deny Narine the wicket of Rahul Tripathi.

The former KKR batter got another reprieve in the next over and this time, impact player Suyash failed to hold on for a return.

It would have been a boundary, but umpire Yeshwant Barde interfered with the ball, leaving it on the ground.

Earlier, Salt got the third IPL fifty in just 38 balls before being dismissed by Mayank Markande (2/39).

The Englishman made 54 off 40 after Narine (2), Venkatesh Iyer (7), Shreyas Iyer (0) and Nitish Rana (9) fell cheaply with pacer T Natarajan (3/32) making bumps early.

But KKR had the power of “Dr. Russ” in its ranks.

Russell got the start against Markande when he bowled leg-spinner SRH deep into the stands – three sixes in five balls.

Markande thought for a moment he had had the last laugh when Aiden Markram took a long-range blinder, but replays showed he failed the forward dive, giving Russell a break on 20.

The warning signs were on for SRH and the Jamaican went ballistic in Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s penultimate over after hitting him for two fours and two sixes, taking 26 runs.

Rinku Singh, at the other end, made a 15-ball 23 as the duo made 81 runs from 33 balls as Kolkata scored 85 runs in the last five overs.

However, the credit also goes to Salt and Ramandeep Singh.

Salt stood firm despite early wickets and got handy support from debutant Ramandeep who quickly ran away in an entertaining 54-run partnership.

Ramandeep slammed Cummins for a boundary and then pulled a short one for a six.

He also hit Markande, Marco Jansen and Shahbaz Ahmed for three more sixes in his 17-ball 35 before being dismissed by Cummins.

This partnership set the tone for Russell and Rinku’s final assault.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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