Rahul Tripathi and Aiden Markram struck half-centuries as they led Sunrisers Hyderabad’s clinical run chase against Kolkata Knight Riders for a seven-wicket win in the Indian Premier League.
Tripathi’s blistering 71 off 37 balls and Markram’s unbeaten 68 off 36 deliveries helped Hyderabad cruise to 3-176 in 17.5 overs after Kolkata notched 8-175.
Despite its third straight successful chase, Hyderabad was seventh in the IPL due to its poor net run-rate.
Kolkata slipped to fourth.
Andre Russell’s quickfire 49 not out gave Kolkata a good finish after Nitish Rana top-scored with 54 against decent bowling by Hyderabad pace bowlers Thangarasu Natarajan (37-3) and Umran Malik (27-2).
“It was a step up,” Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson said of their effort.
“To go out there and chase it with Rahul and Markram playing so well, all in all a fantastic performance.”
Natarajan pegged back Kolkata to 31-3 inside the batting powerplay with his twin strikes in his first over.
Natarajan clean bowled Venkatesh Iyer off his first ball and Sunil Narine was caught at point off a low full toss off his third ball. Natarajan then got Rana caught behind in his return spell off a television referral.
Malik got the key wicket of Shreyas Iyer on 28 just at the halfway mark then wicketkeeper-batter Sheldon Jackson top-edged the pacer to fine leg, where Natarajan made a diving catch.
Russell smashed four sixes and four boundaries, including two sixes and a boundary off Jagadeesha Suchith’s last three balls of the final over.
Tripathi and Markram put Hyderabad’s chase on track with a 94-run partnership after Australia’s Pat Cummins bowled Abhishek Sharma and Williamson dragged Russell’s short-pitched delivery back onto his stumps inside the first six overs.
Tripathi charged spinner Varun Chakravarthy in his blistering knock which comprised of six sixes and four boundaries before holing out in the deep off Russell in the 15th over.
Markram then finished the game in style with a boundary and two successive sixes against Cummins, who ended up with 40-1.
“Feeling very drained,” Kolkata captain Shreyas said. “I thought it was a good total, (but) to be honest, Tripathi came in and changed the moment and didn’t allow us to settle. As batters, we were settled at the end of the powerplay and put up a great effort as a batting unit … was an off day as a bowling unit.”