Batting first after winning the toss, KKR posted a challenging 171/9 on the board. SRH pacer Marco Jansen dismissed Rahmanullah Gurbaz (0) and Venkatesh Iyer (7) in the second over of the match. Jason Roy then fell to Kartik Tyagi for 20, leaving Kolkata in trouble at 35/3.
Skipper Nitish Rana (42 off 31) and Rinku Singh (46 off 35) added 61 for the fourth wicket to lift KKR. A brilliant running catch by Aiden Markram off his own bowling ended his opposite number’s stay at the crease. Andre Russell chipped in with 24 off 15, but T Natarajan (2/30) dismissed Shardul Thakur and Rinku to keep KKR under 175.
In the chase, SRH lost Mayank Agarwal for 18 to Harshit Rana, while Abhishek Sharma (9) was brilliantly caught by Russell off Thakur’s bowling. Rahul Tripathi (20 off 9) perished to the scoop after hammering Russell for some big hits. Anukul Roy then trapped Harry Brook lbw for a duck.
A fifth-wicket stand of 70 between Markram (41 off 40) and Heinrich Klaasen (36 off 20) put SRH on top. However, once Klaasen fell to Thakur, Hyderabad completely lost their way. Markram played a poor shot against Vaibhav Arora, who also dismissed Jansen (1). Abdul Samad contributed 21 off 18, but fell to Varun Chakaravarthy (1/20) in the last over, failing to take the team over the line.
Speaking after being named Player of the Match for his excellent bowling effort under pressure, Chakaravarthy said, “My heartbeat was touching 200 in the last over, but I wanted them to make hit to the longer part of the ground. The ball was slipping a lot and my best bet was longer side and that was my only hope. My first over I went for 12 runs, Markram hit me for 2 fours and that's how the game goes.”
He added about his bowling, “Last year I was bowling around 85kmph, I was trying out many things and I realized that I needed to work on my revolutions and I did work on it.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent