IPL 2023, Sunrisers Hyderabad Vs Kolkata Knight Riders: KKR Flounder In Must-Win Game But Manage A Competitive 171-9

With the opening batters succumbing early for KKR, captain Nitish Rana and later, Rinku Singh were left to do most of the heavy lifting, while Russell played a 15-ball 24 cameo. Jansen and Natarajan picked up 2 wickets apiece for SRH.

Rinku, right, and Rana scored respective 40s, but could not play deep into the innings.

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh came up with a timely 61-run stand to help their team post a competitive 171 for nine against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL in Hyderabad on Thursday. (More Cricket News) | (Scorecard)

The duo came together at the crease at a time when KKR were struggling at 49 for three at the end of powerplay, and the team staring at another below-par showing.

But by the time Rana departed in the 12th over, his 31-ball 42 studded with three fours and an equal number of maximums had put the team on course to a fighting total.

While wickets continued to fall at the other end, with West Indians Andre Russell and Sunil Narine hardly making an impact, Rinku (46 off 35 balls) curbed his natural instinct and played patiently to give the side a decent total to defend.

It was another forgettable start for KKR with opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz unable to recreate the magic of the previous game against Gujarat Titans.

The 21-year-old Afghanistan opener fell to a length ball from South African quick Marco Jansen off the first delivery of the second over as he tried to flick it over mid-wicket but was a tad late and the top edge flew to Harry Brook at mid-on.

Venkatesh Iyer departed five balls later, becoming Jansen's second victim as the tall pacer sent down the short stuff that the KKR batter uncomfortably tried to hook, only to pop it high up in the air for wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen to take an easy catch.

India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar kept it tight at the other end, conceding just 12 runs in his first two overs as the home team endured yet another poor start.

While the two pacers were spot on, Kartik Tyagi initially sprayed the ball all over the place after he was pressed into service in the fifth over. After bowling two wides and a no-ball, the Uttar Pradesh cricketer got the big wicket of England opener Jason Roy.

Roy's premeditated cross-bat heave took a big edge and flew to short third man as Mayank Agarwal took a simple catch.