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

Harshit Rana’s resilience in the final over and Andre Russel’s muscular fifty helped Kolkata Knight Riders overcome Heinrich Klaasen’s six-hit streak to register a thrilling four-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL match on Saturday. Klaassen almost turned the game on its head with a 29-ball 63 in which he hit eight sixes without a single four. But SRH gamely pursued KKR’s impressive 208/7, building on Russell’s (64, 25b) and Phil Salt’s 54 (40b), but managed only 204 for seven.

The South African took IPL’s most expensive buy Mitchell Starc to the cleaners and hit him for three sixes while Bengal cricketer Shahbaz Ahmed ended the Aussie’s left-arm quick’s over with another six.

That 26-run over meant Starc, who moved to the Knight Riders for a record price of Rs 24.75 crore, finished with a pathetic record of 4-0-53-0.

With KKR needing 13 runs in the last over, they relied on rookie pacer Rana, who conceded seven runs after the first two balls.

But first he dismissed Shahabaz and then Klaassen on his penultimate delivery, which came from a great reverse jumper from Suyash Sharma, and gave the home side a fantastic win.

The Hyderabad team needed five runs off the last ball but skipper Pat Cummins failed to hit the ball and Rana finished with good figures (3/33).

Chasing the impressive target on a beautiful batting deck at Eden Gardens, Hyderabad had a record of 145/5. He needed 61 runs off 19 balls before Klaasen came into the game.

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

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

Before Rana took action, KKR’s trump card Narine worked his magic. The West Indies bowler bowled from seventh to 13th, conceding just 19 runs in four overs.

He picked up just one wicket but stalled SRH’s progress in the middle overs.

However, KKR’s fielding was a thorn in their side. Varun Chakravarthy’s fitness has always been a concern and that came to the fore when he dropped a dolly to deny Narine the wicket of Rahul Tripathi.

The former KKR batsman was given another reprieve in the next over and this time Impact player Suyash failed to hold a return catch.

It would have been a boundary but referee Yeshwant Barde got in the way of the ball and left it on the ground.

Earlier, Salt reached his 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) were run out cheaply and pacer T Natarajan (3/32) caused early problems.

But KKR had the “Dre Russ” power in their ranks.

Russell teed off Markande as he smashed the SRH leg-spinner deep into the stands – three sixes in five balls.

For a moment, Markande thought he had had the last laugh when Aiden Markram made a blinder at long-on, but replays showed he parried the forward diving catch, giving Russell a breather on the 20th.

The warning signs were on for SRH and the Jamaican was out of his mind in Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s penultimate knock, hitting him for two fours and two sixes and scoring 26 runs.

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

However, Salt and Ramandeep Singh also deserve credit.

Salt held firm despite early wickets and received practical support from debutant Ramandeep, who got out of the blocks quickly in an entertaining 54-run partnership.

Ramandeep hit 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.

The partnership set the tone for Russell and Rinku’s final attack.

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

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