Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) faced Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Eden Gardens in the second game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where KKR won the game convincingly. 

Having won the toss, KKR chose to field first. SRH openers David Warner and Bairstow got off to a flying start. Warner made a stunning 53-ball 85 which included 9 boundaries and 3 sixes. Along with him Bairstow too scored 39 off 35 and put up the 100-run mark. It was only in the 13th over when KKR finally managed to get the first breakthrough by dismissing Bairstow.

After Warner’s dismissal, Shankar came into bat at three and played a cameo of 40 off 24 which helped SRH to put up 181 for 3 in 20 overs.

While chasing 182, KKR lost the opener, Chris Lynn, very cheaply but Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa steadied the ship with an 80 runs partnership. However, still, the game was on SRH’s court as they came back into the game with a few wickets quickly. But Andre Russell and Shubman Gill added 53 runs in the final three overs and win the game for KKR.

Here are the three takeaways from the second encounter:

The formidable form of David Warner

The former captain of SRH and the destructive opener David Warner has returned in the IPL after a 12-month ban. He was banned for a year from all the international games due to the ball-tampering scandal in Australia’s away test against South Africa. Though he was allowed to play the IPL, BCCI took another strict decision by not allowing him to play in the IPL last year.

However, he had a lot to prove to the world. The opener started hitting all over the park and literally punished all the bowlers of KKR. His come back inning made of a swashbuckling 85 off 43 balls which included 9 boundaries and 3 sixes. His batting was so flawless that it never showed that he was not in touch. He was supported well by Bairstow as the pair put up a brilliant 118 run opening standing. His brilliant inning helped SRH to put up a mammoth total of 181 on board.

Also Read: KKR vs SRH Uncapped players’ performance

However, with the 85, Warner surpassed Gautam Gambhir’s record of most half-centuries in IPL and moved up to the top of the table with 37 half-centuries in Indian Premier League.

Andre Russell’s match-winning 49*

After David Warner’s heroics and Vijay Shankar’s cameo, SRH managed to put up 181 on board after 20 overs. To chase the total, KKR were needed a flying start which the openers were not able to provide. As the opener, Chris Lynn dismissed for 7, another opener Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa tried to steady the ship with an 80-run stand. 

KKR were doing well with Rana and Uthappa but Sunrisers bounced back with 3 quick successions which left Kolkata in a trouble. Along with this, the run rate too had started to increase.

53 runs were required off last 3 overs when Andre Russell and Shubman Gill were at the crease. Siddarth Kaul came to bowl the 18th over where Andre Russell smashed 2 big sixes and a boundary along with 3 singles and 19 runs came from the 18th over. Somehow, the game turned its way towards KKR.

Stand-in captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned for the penultimate over when KKR needed 34 runs off last two overs. But Russell smashed 2 sixes and 2 fours in the 19th over and kept the hope alive of the victory.

With 13 runs required in the last over, the youngster Shubman Gill hit two big sixes and seal the game for KKR. Russell scored an unbeaten 49 runs off 19 balls, including 4 fours and 4 sixes and became the game changer for his side.

Poor bowling by SRH

SRH has the strongest bowling lineup in the IPL but they failed to win the first game against KKR. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was captaining the team for the very first time in absence of Kane Williamson. Though they put up a huge competitive total of 181, bowlers, somehow couldn’t bowl as per their strength and that caused them the defeat.

Getting early wickets always help any side to win the game. With the proper wicket-taker in the form of Rashid Khan, SRH should have opened the bowling with him in the powerplay. But he came into the attack in the seventh over. He also created a few chances of dismissals but the team failed to grab those. However, KKR batsmen survived his spell well with the loss of one wicket.

KKR were needed more than 50 runs in the last three overs where the game was pretty much in SRH’s court. But Siddarth Kaul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave 19 and 21 runs in the 18th and 19th over respectively.

When 13 was needed from the last over, stand-in captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave the ball to Shakib Al Hasan. The over started with a wide and single but two sixes hit by young Shubman Gill helped KKR to win the nail-biting game with two balls to spare.

What if Vijay Shankar came into bowl the last over? The result could be different as we have seen earlier how Shankar did manage to win India a game against Australia by bowling the last over.

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