Russell sparkles in KKR win

Andre Russell bowls during a practice session in Gros Islet, St. Lucia, West Indies.
Associated Press / Andres Leighton, file

Andre Russell sparkled with a 20-ball half-century and snatched two wickets as Kolkata Knight Riders earned a narrow four run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League at Eden Gardens. Sent in to bat, KKR found themselves slumping at 51 for 4 in the eighth over before recovering to post 208 for 7 from their 20 overs, West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell blasting a Man-of-theMatch unbeaten 64 from 25 deliveries lashing three fours and seven sixes.

Opener Phil Salt supported with 54 from 40 deliveries smacking three fours and three sixes for the fifth wicket with Ramandeep Singh who struck 35 from 17 balls. It continued when Russell inspired an 81-run, seventh-wicket stand with Rinku Singh (23).

West Indies off spinner Sunil Narine.
West Indies off spinner Sunil Narine. Associated Press / Tom Hevez, file

Sunil Narine was an early casualty when he was run out at the end of the second over and KKR lost wickets steadily with left-arm pacer Thangarasu Natarajan (3-32) striking twice.In reply, Sunrisers got a stunning 29-ball 63 from South African Heinrich Klaasen while Abhishek Sharma and Mayank Agarwal both scored 32 runs each.They required 13 from the final over but new-ball seamer Harshit Rana (3-33) struck twice to set back Sunrisers.

Sunrisers’ chase started well, Abhishek and Agarwal posting 60 off 33 balls for the first wicket, Rahul Tripathi (20) and Aiden Markram (18) adding a further 36 for the third wicket and Klaasen and Abdul Samad (15) putting on 34 for the fifth wicket. Klaasen belted eight sixes, carving out another 58 for the sixth wicket with Shahbaz Ahmed (16). Sunrisers lacked momentum in the final over, especially after Klaasen perished to the penultimate ball of the chase.