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Rustling of hopes

Russell show keeps Kolkata alive

Rustling of hopes

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell (right) celebrates dismissing Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Kane Williamson. PTI


Pune, May 14

Andre Russell's all-round brilliance theoretically kept Kolkata Knight Riders in contention for a playoffs berth as they recorded a comprehensive 54-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a must-win IPL game today.

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It was Russell's unbeaten 49 off 28 balls that took Kolkata to 177/6 in 20 overs after they were tottering at 94/5.

In reply, Hyderabad were never in the hunt as they huffed and puffed their way to 123/8 against a collective bowling effort from Shreyas Iyer's men with the flamboyant Jamaican finishing with best figures of 3/22.

Umesh Yadav (1/19), Tim Southee (2/23), Varun Chakravarthy (1/25) and Sunil Narine (1/34) — all stuck to their respective gameplans with near-perfect executions over after over.

Kolkata now have 12 points from 13 games with a net run-rate (NRR) of +0.160 and moved into the sixth place.

For Hyderabad, 10 points from 12 games with a dismal NRR of -0.270 means that even two big wins and 14 points might not be enough after five straight defeats.

Earlier, Umran Malik was back among wickets after a few forgettable outings as he ran through Kolkata's top-order but Russell, along with Sam Billings (34 off 29 balls), added 63 runs for the sixth wicket to give the total a semblance of respectability after Kolkata were tottering at 94/5.

Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders: 177/6 in 20 overs (Russell 49*; Malik 3/33); Sunrisers Hyderabad: 123/8 in 20 overs (Sharma 43; Russell 3/22).


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