Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2022 Highlights: KKR keep their playoff hopes alive with a 54-run win over SRH.

Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 54 runs to reach 177-6 in 20 overs . Andre Russells unbeaten 49 off 28 balls led KKR to victory .

PUNE: Kolkata Knight Riders are now in contention for a play-off spot after winning a huge 54-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday in a must-win IPL match.Andre Russell's all-round brilliance put them in contention.After being down and out at 94 for 5, Russells unbeaten 49 off 28 balls led KKR to 177 for six in 20 overs.SRH were never in the hunt as they huffed and puffed their way to 123 for 8 against a collective bowling effort by Shreyas Iyers men, the flamboyant Jamaican finishing with the best figures of 3 for 22.

As IT HAPPENEDKKR now has 12 points from 13 games with a net run-rate of +0.160 and has moved to sixth position.With the Rajasthan Royals (14 from 12) and the RCB (14 from 13 games) all having the potential to progress, a victory is unlikely to be enough for the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise, which played its 13th first XI game in as many games.With a dismal NRR of -0.270 for Sunrisers, 10 points from 12 games means that even two big victories and 14 points will not be enough.Though SRH is a sentimental favorite among Indian cricket fans, a large part of his poor batting show could be attributed to skipper Kane Williamsons nightmarish season, which has only produced 208 runs in 12 games, an average of less than 19 and a strike-rate of 92.85.

Williamson was through an ordeal until Russell bowled one on the stumps to bring an end to his misery.Rahul Tripathi (9 off 1 balls) looked shaky even as Abhishek Sharma (43 off 28 balls) beat Sunil Narine, striking him for two sixes.The conclusion of Tripathis innings came from Tim Southees' brilliant reflex return catch.At the halfway point, SRH wasnt in a very stable position at 66 for two, and the statistic of teams chasing (highest successful chase of 170) at the Gahunje Stadium didnt paint a particularly positive picture.

Umran Malik was back in his groove after a string of disappointing outings as he ran through KKRs top-order, but Russell and Sam Billings (34 off 29 balls) added 63 runs for the sixth wicket, giving the total a sense of honorability after KKR was stumped at 94 for 5.KKR took 58 runs in the last five overs, mainly due to Russell, who scored three sixes off three full-tosses bowled by off-break bowler Washington Sundar (040 in 4 overs).Malik (333 in 4 overs), who had hit 120-odd runs in his last ten overs (across 3 games) and that too wicketless, was back in his element when he bowled fast and straight to dismiss 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 score back KKR.T Natarajan (143), a well-known veteran of block-hole deliveries, provided him with good support, taking down Rinku Singh (5).

Rahane has well past his IPL sell-by date, and even three sixes could not deny the fact that he played a lot of dot balls and that it became much more difficult to rotate the strike once he began cramping.He was out when he slashed hard at a wide rising delivery, and Shashank Singh at the sweeper cover fence maintained perfect body alignment, putting him on the catch.After a brief pause, Russell and Billings returned to the opposition camp with some big blows.Though Billings had three fours and four sixes to his name, he only hit three fours and one maximum.