Match 47, Indian Premier League, 2023 Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
Toss won by Kolkata Knight Riders (Match Ended)
- Batsman R B 4s 6s SR
- Mayank Markande 1 2 0 0 50
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar 5 5 1 0 100
Varun Chakaravarthy is the Player of the Match for match figures of 4-0-20-1 but more so for that remarkable last over. He says that his heartbeat was touching 200 but wanted to challenge them on the longer end and that was his plan. Claims that the ball was slipping a lot and so he felt his best bet was the longer side. Adds that in his first over he went for many runs but Aiden Markram played some good shots. Informs that it is important to stay in the process as emotions would result in him getting carried away and losing that process. Ends by saying that last year he was bowling at 85 kph and he lost speed but he went back to work on his revs to get his speed back.
Nitish Rana, the captain of Kolkata says that they bowled a few loose overs during the middle phase and took a gamble by going with Shardul Thakur and Vaibhav Arora which paid off. Adds that it was important to get both set batters because the game would have gone out of their reach had they batted till the end. Shares that he was sceptical about whom to go with for the final over and ultimately went with his best bowler who got him two points. Ends by saying that he always sees who is the best spinner on a given day and goes with him.
Time for the presentations...
Shardul Thakur is in for a chat. He says that the stage was set for him to get that wicket of Heinrich Klaasen and adds that taking wickets is expected out of him. Shares that Nitish Rana had a feeling to go with Varun Chakaravarthy for the final over and he asked him to go with his gut feeling. Mentions that the wicket was sticky and it was important to bowl length balls. Also says that they have lost previous games from a winning position and this was a much-needed win. On the Heinrich Klaasen wicket, he says that the plan was to bowl a fast cutter to him and force him to play a cross-batted shot. Also says that the ball was stopping on the surface when he was batting.
Aiden Markram, the skipper of Hyderabad says that it is certainly a tough pill to swallow and adds that they played good cricket for major portions of the game. Mentions that Heinrich Klaasen played really well and took the pressure off him while he was struggling. States that bowlers bowled well and fielders threw themselves around the field which was nice to see. Also says that they did set up some good partnerships with the bat but it wasn't enough. Feels that his players have played enough cricket to make the right decisions. On every game being a virtual knockout, he hopes that this situation brings out the best in his team. Ends by saying that not getting two points from this game is not ideal but he hopes to take confidence from this game.
Time for some interviews...
Kolkata won the toss and elected to bat but lost Rahmanullah Gurbaz on a golden duck on the first ball of the 2nd over. Venkatesh Iyer departed soon after but their skipper Nitish Rana got together with Jason Roy and began to rebuild the inning. Jason could not utilize the start he got but 40-plus scores from Rinku Singh and Nitish Rana pushed them to a fighting total. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals with all the Hyderabad bowlers among the wickets. Marco Jansen and T Natarajan claimed two wickets each with the others chipping in with one. They would be disappointed that their batters made an absolute meal of the run chase.
Kolkata did not get off to the best starts defending the target as they conceded boundaries freely but Harshit Rana provided the required spark to draw first blood. Their medium pacers Shardul Thakur and Andre Russell grabbed a wicket each in the Powerplay and brought themselves back into the game. Anukul Roy proved his worth as an Impact Player with a crucial wicket but after that, the bowlers began to leak a few runs. Shardul Thakur came back to get a much-needed breakthrough but it was Vaibhav Arora's two wickets in the death that got them well and truly into the game. Varun Chakaravarthy got a wicket in the last over where he conceded just three runs and pulled off a remarkable heist for his side.
Hyderabad looked to start the run chase on a positive note with Abhishek Sharma getting a boundary on the first ball and putting on a quickfire 29-run opening partnership but they still lost three wickets in the Powerplay. Mayank Agarwal was the first to depart and Abhishek Sharma followed him soon after but they will be most disappointed with their Impact Player Rahul Tripathi who has flattered to deceive far too many times this season. Harry Brook's poor run of form after his century continued as he was dismissed without troubling the scorers but a 70-run partnership in 47 balls between Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen got them well on course to register a win. They could not complete the job as they lost their wickets and the task was too steep for the tail-enders.
Varun Chakaravarthy is the hero for Kolkata with a remarkable last over! Kolkata have held their nerves and pulled off a crucial win in the context of their campaign! They have managed to keep their qualification hopes alive with their fourth win this season. They looked down and out for large portions of the game but some good decisions in the death overs have helped them clinch this victory. Hyderabad will be disappointed as they have lost yet another tie at home and seem to be struggling to execute their plans.
Varun Chakaravarthy has done it for Kolkata! They pull off a heist in Hyderabad! Bowls it short and on off and middle, Bhuvneshwar Kumar stays back in the crease and goes for the pull. The ball climbs on him and he ends up connecting with thin air. Joy on the faces of Kolkata players as they win by 5 runs!
Right then, that is it from this nail-biter of a contest and both sides are in a position where they have to win all their remaining games. The action in the Indian T20 League continues on Friday, 5th May, as Rajasthan take on Gujarat at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. The first ball will be bowled at 7.30 pm IST (2 pm GMT), but as you know, you can join us early for the build-up. Until then, cheers and goodbye!