Sunrisers Hyderabad's (SRH) clinical bowling display including T Natarajan's stunning last over kept Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to 171/9 in an IPL 2023 match at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, here on Thursday.
For SRH, it was Marco Jansen (2/24), who set the tone early, striking twice in his first over. Then Karthik Tyagi got the crucial wicket of Jason Roy in his first over.
Despite the three early wickets, Hyderabad did leak a few runs during the middle overs but they pulled things back nicely. Natarajan (2/30) bowled a brilliant 20th over, conceding just three runs and picked up a wicket along with inflicting a runout.
Putting into bat first, KKR had a slow start, losing two quick wickets in the first couple of overs and later lost the set batter, Roy, who threatened with a few boundaries, as the visitors ended the powerplay at 49/3.
Roy started off with back-to-back boundaries to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the opening over before Jansen struck in the next over to dismiss Rahmanullah Gurbaz for a duck. A couple of balls later, he got rid of Venkatesh Iyer cheaply for seven and KKR were reduced to 16/2 early in the innings.
Tyagi began the fifth over with a wide and no-ball but the pacer was quick to bounce back as he got the big wicket of Roy, who miscued his slash to short third where Mayank Agarwal pouched it with ease.
While SRH continued with tight bowling, Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh got into the rebuilding act as they found big hits in between to keep the scoreboard ticking and went on to score 61 off 40 balls.
Rana smashed Tyagi for a boundary and two consecutive maximums in the 10th over to take KKR to 90/3 halfway through the innings.
Tyagi almost beat Rana with pace as the batter sliced it into the hands of backward point and Mayank Agarwal grabbed the ball and appealed for a catch. The umpires went upstairs to check and replay showed that the ball was under the bat at the point of contact.
An over later, a brilliant caught and bowled by Markram ended KKR skipper's stay on the crease. Then, Andre Russell came in and thumped two sixes in two overs to accelerate the innings but Mayank Markane cut short his stay and removed him in the 15th over for 24 and half of the KKR side headed back to the hut in 15 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar got his first in the next over, removing Sunil Narine, who was beaten by the lack of pace and chipped it towards extra cover where Agarwal ran to his left to complete an easy catch.
Shardul Thakur slashed straight at deep point off the bowling of Natarajan for a big but Abdul Samad completed a simple catch and it was all on Rinku to give KKR the big finish.
Impact player Anukul Roy came in and smashed two successive boundaries in the 19th over to add crucial runs to the board.
Then, Natarajan bowled a brilliant last over, he first denied Rinku a half-century, removing him on low full toss and inflicted a brilliant run-out to dismiss Harshit Rana on the next delivery. He gave away just three off the over as KKR finished with 171/9 in 20 overs.
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 171/9 in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 42 off 31, Rinku Singh 46 off 35; Marco Jansen 2/24, T Natarajan 2/30) against Sunrisers Hyderabad
( 600 Words)