Sunrisers Hyderabad was once again let down by its self-destructive batsmen, giving Kolkata Knight Riders a much-needed five-run victory in the IPL on Thursday, keeping the Nitish Rana-led team alive.
After a productive 61-run stand between Rana and Rinku Singh helped KKR reach 171 for nine, their spinners, in particular Shardul Thakur (2/23) and Vaibhav Arora (2/32), enabled the two-time IPL winners to restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to 166 for eight in 20 overs. In the decisive 20th over, V a r u n Chakaravarthy bowled well to give his side a much-needed victory.
As a result of KKR's fourth win of the year, they currently have eight points, while SRH's playoff prospects were severely damaged by being stuck on six points. Given that the South African duo of SRH captain Aiden Markram (41 off 40 balls) and Heinrich Klaasen (36 off 20 balls) briefly seemed to be taking the match by storm with their 70-run partnership, the win for KKR was a hard-fought one.Markram and Klaasen played heroic innings, but their swift series of dismissals sealed the home team's fate since the later-order batsmen were unable to get going.
When the team was struggling at 49 for three at the end of the powerplay, Rana and Rinku of KKR teamed up at the crease. However, by the time Rana left the game in the 12th over, the team was on track to a respectable total thanks to his 31-ball 42, which included three fours and an equal number of maximums.
Rinku (46 off 35 balls) restrained his natural impulse and batted calmly to give the team a respectable score to defend as wickets kept falling at the other end and West Indians Andre Russell and Sunil Narine hardly made an impression. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the team's opener, was unable to duplicate the magic of the previous game against the Gujarat Titans, giving KKR another disappointing start.