KKR hold nerves to beat Titans by five runs

On Thursday, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) clinched a five-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad thanks to their skillful bowling in the death overs of their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Hyderabad. KKR now stands at eighth position with four wins, six losses, and eight points. Sunrisers Hyderabad, with three wins, six losses, and six points, occupies the ninth position.

Sunrisers Hyderabad was chasing a target of 172, and after a solid start, Harshit Rana disrupted the chase by dismissing Mayank Agarwal for 18 runs off 11 balls. Abhishek Sharma was also dismissed for nine runs by Shardul Thakur after he was caught by Andre Russell at deep backward square. SRH reached the 50-run mark in 5.2 overs, but Rahul Tripathi’s short stay at the crease ended after he was dismissed by Russell, with help from Vaibhav Arora at fine-leg.

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Klaasen and Markram rescue SRH

At the end of the powerplay in six overs, Sunrisers Hyderabad was at 53/3, with skipper Aiden Markram and Harry Brook unbeaten at zero. Anukul Roy trapped Harry Brook lbw for a four-ball duck, continuing his disappointing run in IPL. Skipper Markram and Heinrich Klaasen started to build a partnership, taking the side halfway through the innings without any loss of wicket.

At the end of 10 overs, Sunrisers Hyderabad was at 75/4, with Klaasen (11*) and Markram (10*) unbeaten. Klaasen smashed Anukul Roy for 15 runs in the 11th over, including two sixes. SRH breached the 100-run mark in 11.5 overs, and the South African duo brought up their fifty-run stand.

However, Thakur’s golden arm ended the 70-run stand between Markram-Klaasen, as Russell caught Klaasen at deep midwicket. The batter was dismissed for 36 runs off 20 balls, consisting of a four and three sixes.

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KKR’s bowlers help team recover

At the end of 15 overs, Sunrisers Hyderabad was at 134/5, with Abdul Samad (5*) and Markram (38*) unbeaten. They needed 38 runs in the final five overs. The next two overs bowled by Varun Chakravarthy and Vaibhav Arora were cheap, giving away only three and five runs, respectively. Arora also got the wicket of skipper Markram, who was dismissed for 41 runs off 40 balls. Rinku Singh took a great catch.

Sunrisers Hyderabad needed 26 runs off 18 balls, but Vaibhav dismissed Marco Jansen for just one run, reducing SRH to 152/7 in 18.2 overs. A no-ball from Vaibhav and a total of 12 runs conceded in the 19th over left Sunrisers Hyderabad with nine runs in the final over to win. After a single and a bye, Samad was caught near the boundary for 21 runs off 18 balls. SRH was at 165/8 in 19.3 overs, needing seven runs in three balls.

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They failed to complete the chase, finishing at 166/8 in 20 overs. KKR won the match by five runs. Shardul Thakur (2/23) and Vaibhav (2/32) impressed KKR with their bowling. Andre, Anukul, Varun, and Harshit got a wicket each.

Russell & Mayank achieve milestones

Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder achieved the milestone of hitting 600 sixes in T20 cricket. In the match against SRH, he smashed two sixes and scored 24 runs from 15 balls. Among all T20 cricketers, Russell stands as the third-highest six-hitter, after compatriots Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard. Both are from the West Indies and have hit 1,056 and 812 sixes, respectively. Brendon McCullum and Colin Munro, both from New Zealand, follow Russell on the list, with 485 and 480 sixes, respectively.

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Meanwhile, SRH opener Mayank Agarwal scored 18 runs in 11 balls, reaching the milestone of 2500 runs. He was dismissed by Harshit Rana.

During his IPL career, Mayank has scored 2514 runs in 122 matches, averaging 22.45 and with an impressive strike rate of 132.53. He has also scored a century and 12 fifties. In the current IPL season, he has amassed a total of 187 runs in nine matches. He averaged 20.78 at a strike rate of 114.02. However, he is yet to score a half century this season, his first with SRH.

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Mayank began his IPL career in 2011 with Royal Challengers Bangalore, playing for the franchise until 2013. When playing for them, he scored 433 runs in 29 matches with an average of 18.83, scoring one half-century. He then played for Delhi Capitals from 2014 to 2016, scoring 355 runs in 21 matches at an average of 17.75, including two half-centuries. In 2017, he played for the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant, scoring only 20 runs in three matches.

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