This is one of those Twenty20 days. You get a defendable target, you get your tactics right, you squeeze the opposition, but then Andre Russell comes around, hits four sixes and four fours in 19 balls, and without breaking a sweat makes a mockery of everything. The Eden Gardens faithful went into a frenzy as Russell completely destroyed the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling to chase down 53 in the last three overs, the highest that has ever been successfully chased in the last three overs of an IPL match.
This was only the third time – out of 14 – that Sunrisers had failed to defend a total of 180 or above in all IPL. This innings also spoiled a glorious comeback for David Warner – a year to the day his career and his life changed irrevocably because of the ball-tampering scandal. Warner scored 85 off 53 to take Sunrisers to that total on a difficult pitch.
Sunrisers were at the wrong end of the toss – asked to bat first, they had to contend with a slowing-down pitch in the afternoon and then a skiddy one under the lights – but they did most things right in the defence. Except get Russell out, who scored 49 off 19, his impact well above anyone else in the game.
Summarized scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 183 for 4 (Rana 68, Russell 49*, Uthappa 35, Rashid 1-26) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 181 for 3 (Warner 85, Vijay 40*, Bairstow 39, Russell 2-32) by six wickets