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IPL 2024: Rana's brilliant final over tops Klassen's stunning 63 as KKR beat SRH by 4 runs

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IPL 2024: Rana's brilliant final over tops Klassen's stunning 63 as KKR beat SRH by 4 runs

Kolkata, March 23 (IANS) Harshit Rana bowled a brilliant final over to stop a rampaging Heinrich Klassen (63 off 29 balls) as Kolkata Knight Riders snatched a narrow, thrilling four-run victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 3 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.

It was a thrilling last-ball finish to remember as Klassen dragged SRH from the verge of defeat to almost over the line before Rana took it away from them. From 60 off 18 balls, Klassen and Shahbaz Ahmed hammered 21 and 26 runs in the next two overs to make it 13 off six balls. They blazed 81 runs off the last five overs and set the pulse racing with their brilliant strokeplay.

Klassen hammered Rana for a six off the first delivery and with seven needed off five balls, conceded a single and sent back Shahbaz Ahmed, caught by Shreyas Iyer to pull things back for KKR. But it was still SRH’s match to lose as Marco Jansen took a single and gave Klassen the strike to hammer a six-and-seal victory. Suyash Sharma pulled off a superb catch at short third to dismiss Klassen as Kolkata Knight Riders sealed a nerve-wracking victory.

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SRH ended their 20 overs on 204/7 and fell short by four runs as they mounted a brilliant chase of KKR’s 208/7 built on an unbeaten 64 off 25 balls by Andre Russell and 54 by Phil Salt after Pat Cummins had won the toss and asked KKR to bat first on a pitch that looks full of runs.

Chasing a mammoth target, Sunrisers Hyderabad made a good start with Mayank Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma raising 60 runs for the opening wicket partnership. SRH scored 65 runs in the Power-play for the loss of Agarwal as they started cautiously and reached 50 off 43 balls. Agarwal was the first to go, hitting a short delivery to Rinku Singh off Harshit Rana for 32 off 21 balls.

Abhishek Sharma too made 32 off 19 balls before he was caught by Varun Chakravarthy off Andre Russell. Rahul Tripathi (20 off 20), Aiden Markram (18 off 13) and Abdul Samad (15 off 11) got starts but could not convert them into big scores as Kolkata Knight Riders used the short ball well. In the field, they pulled off some good catches as they were reduced to 145/5 in the 17th over.

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But Heinrich Klaasen struck a barrage of sixes and along with Shahbaz Ahmad launched an unlikely charge towards victory as SRH nearly pulled off the fourth-highest successful run chase in IPL history.

With 60 needed off the last three overs, Klaasen hammered two sixes off Varun Chakravarthy and Shjahbaz helped himself to one six as they scored 21 runs off the 18th over.

In the next over Klassen blasted two huge sixes off Mitchell Starc in the midweek region and a third over cover while Shahbaz swiped the Aussie pacer over deep backward square to blast 26 runs to leave SRH needing 13 runs off the last six balls.

Klaasen blasted a huge six off Harshit Rana off the first ball, but the bowler had the last laugh as he bowled a superb over to send back Shadab Ahmed and Klassen and seal a four-run victory for Kolkata Knight Riders.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 208/7 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 64 not out, Phil Salt 54, Ramandeep Singh 35; T. Natarajan 3-32, Mayank Markande 2-39) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 204/7 in 20 overs (Heinrich Klassen 63, Abhishek Sharma 32, Mayank Agarwal 32; Harshit Rana 3-33, Andre Russell 2-25) by four runs.

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–IANS

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