IPL 2022: Malik returns to the wickets before Russell leads KKR to 177/6.

Andre Russells hit unbeaten 49 not out for Sunrisers Hyderabad in must-win IPL match . Russell and Sam Billings added 63 runs for sixth wicket to give Kolkata Knight Riders a hint of sanity .

PUNE: Umran Malik was back in his groove after a string of disappointing outings, running through Kolkata Knight Riders top-order before losing to Andre Russells counter-attacking unbeaten 49 in a must-win IPL match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday.After KKR was in trouble at 94 for 5, Russell (49 not out off 28 balls) and Sam Billings (34 off 29 balls) were among the 63 runs for the sixth wicket, giving the total a hint of sanity.In the last five overs, KKR added 58 runs, most of which were due to Russell, who bowled three full-tosses off three bowled by off-break bowler Washington Sundar (040 in 4 overs).Malik (333 in 4 overs), who had gone for 120-odd runs in his last ten overs (across three games) and that too wicketless, was back in his element as he bowled fast and straight to get rid of Nitish Rana (26 off 16 balls), Ajinkya Rahane (28 off 23 balls) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (15 off 9 balls) in his first two overs to pin back KK T Natarajan (143), who nailed the block-hole deliveries with a bang, gave him good support, even before losing Rinku Singh (5), who missed out on a study that might have counted for nothing.

Rahane is well past his IPL sell-by date, and three sixes weren't enough to conceal the fact that he played a lot of dot balls and that it became much more difficult to rotate the strike once he got sick.After shattering hard at a wide rising delivery, Shashank Singh at the sweeper cover fence kept perfect body position so that he could latch on to the catch.After a brief halt, the KKR batting finally looked sharp when Russell and Billings returned to the opposition camp with some big blows.Although Billings had three fours and four sixes to his name, he hit three fours and one maximum.