Before the mystery spinner’s choke, Markram and Klaasen gave Sunrisers control of their pursuit
As Kolkata Knight Riders managed to defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad in an unlikely victory, just their fourth in 10 games this season, Varun Chakravarthy bowled overs 16, 18, and 20 for 12 runs, four of them off byes and leg byes, and one wicket.
After the loss, SRH’s record of three victories in six games was exactly the same as KKR’s before the game. Both teams were still in must-win situations.
When Heinrich Klaasen took the lead at the beginning of the second half of the chase, SRH’s pursuit of 172 appeared to be a walk in the park. Klaasen was bowled by Shardul Thakur’s golden arm when they needed 48 runs off the final six overs, and Varun choked SRH with the assistance of Vaibhav Arora, who took the wicket of Aiden Markram in the 17th -.
The most anticipated opening pair for KKR in this IPL was Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Jason Roy, who had both batted brilliantly in various games. The assurance was broken when Gurbaz top-edged to mid-on after walking at Marco Jansen with the first ball he encountered.
Venkatesh Iyer received a snorter later in the over: additional bounce from a pitch that was barely short of a length and right at his face. To the keeper, off the glove.
Kartik Tyagi, playing his first match of the year, benefited as Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s movement vexed Roy. Roy attempted to construct a pull from way outside off and toe-ended it to short third: 35 for 3 in the fifth over.
Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh were able to start rebuilding the score at a respectable pace thanks to some errant bowling by Jansen in his third over. Aiden Markram got a grasp when he realized he could pitch a couple of overs to two left-handed batters.
When Tyagi attempted to bounce Rana, KKR finally gained proper momentum and moved to 90 for 3 in the tenth over after two sixes and a four.
Markram turned to his No. 1 spinner Mayank Markande as KKR sought to dominate, and Markande instantly applied the breaks. Markram changed ends, and Rana only took a chance to top-edge a slog-sweep.
Sunil Narine was out of form, therefore KKR had no choice but to send Andre Russell out to bat against wrist spin. Despite the fact that he was able to knock two sixes off of over-pitch balls, Markande continued to over-pitch, only wide of his reach, and caught him at short third.
Then, wickets continued to fall. With 15 balls remaining, KKR traded in Anukul Roy for Suyash Sharma, but they were unable to find the huge overs in the dying stages.
KKR has primarily relied on its spinners to win games, but they have benefited from the addition of the powerful muscular fast bowler Harshit Rana. He delivered some hot bowling and got Mayank Agarwal to glove a bouncer.
Abhishek Sharma casually skyed one up, continuing Shardul Thakur’s golden touch. In the sixth over, Rahul Tripathi challenged Russell with four, six, and four runs before succumbing to a ramp off a slower ball bowled by the same bowler.
Anukul’s paddle sweep catch of Harry Brook for a duck in the seventh over gave KKR hope after they had grabbed three early wickets through the quicks. With its two key spinners in the pocket and a score of 54 for 4, KKR started to tighten the screws.
The two best batsmen for SRH, Klaasen and Markram, went 19 balls without either attempting or hitting a boundary. They were determined to rebuild because they realized there wasn’t much left behind them.
The hitters would have to take significant risks on a slow, low pitch to reach the 97 they needed in the final 10 overs, KKR’s top spinners were being held back.
Anukul’s third over was chosen by Klaasen as the cue to begin the pushback. He charged the opening pitch of the eleventh over and smacked a six over long-off.
The next shot was a 101-meter miss over midwicket. It rubbed off on Markram, who welcomed Varun with two square-cut fours at the time he was on 11 off 21.
With 49 coming off just four overs and Sunrisers needing just 48 from six overs, it seemed as though floodgates had opened.
When Thakur was reintroduced, he once more added the golden touch. This length ball appeared to be on-pace and in the slot to begin the 15th over, but it was actually a rapid cutter that Klaasen toe-ended to long-on.
After a sluggish start, Markram, who was still in control of SRH, had advanced to a run-a-ball strategy. Two barriers that Thakur crossed over helped SRH to relax.
Varun, however, snuffed out their innings. He bowled into the pitch while bowling around the wicket to prevent them from getting any hits down the ground. He also didn’t provide them a speed at which to work.
Markram chose a bouncer who was too high to go after because he felt compelled to fight Vaibhav. He ultimately holed out for 41 off 40 after playing long-off. Varun continued to tighten the noose.
The 18th over produced no goals. With two overs remaining and 21 needed, Gurbaz made an incredible left-handed catch off Jansen’s inside edge. After Abdul Samad hit a no-ball for four runs on a no-ball, Arora overcame it, leaving Varun with eight to defend in the final over.
At the start of the over, Samad was 20 off 16, and he ultimately whacked a sluggish, short ball straight to deep midwicket. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had played in a chase 33 times in the IPL prior, but on none of those occasions did he come out on top; this time, with too much to accomplish, he lost.