Published: Mon, April 15, 2019
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Russell steals thunder from Warner; leads KKR to dramatic win

Russell steals thunder from Warner; leads KKR to dramatic win

Kolkata: Eyeing a third title which has eluded them for quite some time, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will have their task cut out when they take on formidable Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

The KKR required 53 runs to win the game from the last three overs and Russell made it look a cakewalk, smacking 49 not out in just 19 balls to see his side home with two balls to spare. In this match, Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson is not playing due to injury and Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the captain.

Kuldeep was once again clobbered for a maximum in the 10th over as Warner and Jonny Bairstow (39) brought up their 100-run opening stand in 66 balls just after the halfway mark. For SRH, David Warner returns and both the teams are raring to go. 'It is good to get out there and contribute.

Warner was barred from last year's IPL having also been hit with a 12-month ban from worldwide cricket for his role in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal along with Steve Smith.

KKR were needed more than 50 runs in the last three overs where the game was pretty much in SRH's court.

The pair were banned for cheating in a Cape Town Test in March previous year along with teammate Cameron Bancroft, whose nine-month ban has already finished.

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Kolkata keeper Dinesh Karthik put down a leg-side chance when Warner was on 68 but the Australian otherwise dictated terms until Robin Uthappa plucked an astonishing catch.

"We have got quite a few days before our next home game".

Such was the Warner assault that four of the regular KKR bowlers including the frontline spin duo of Sunil Narine (0/29) and Kuldeep (0/18) did not even bowl their full quota of four overs.

"Kane is obviously the standing worldwide captain who is admired globally on that platform and what he did with us past year, we felt that it seemed to make sense to continue that continuity", Moody said. In 2018, he played the most number of games in the IPL - 16 - scoring 316 runs at a staggering strike-rate of 184 plus.

With KKR virtually down and out, needing 53 runs off the final three overs, Russell snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with an awesome display of power hitting. "Warner is available. He is jumping out of his skin to start his campaign", Moody said.

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