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Russell, Harshit help Kolkata edge Hyderabad in IPL thriller

Master blaster: Kolkata Knight Riders' Andre Russell in action on Saturday (DIBYANGSHU SARKAR)
Master blaster: Kolkata Knight Riders' Andre Russell in action on Saturday (DIBYANGSHU SARKAR)

Andre Russell's all-round show and last over heroics by Harshit Rana helped Kolkata Knight Riders prevail in an IPL thriller by four runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday.

Heinrich Klaasen smashed 63 off 29 balls to give Kolkata a scare as Hyderabad attempted to chase down a victory target of 209 at Eden Gardens.

Coming down to needing 13 off the last over after a flurry of sixes from Klaasen in overs 18 and 19, fast bowler Harshit was hit for a six on ball one but kept calm to send back Shahbaz Ahmed and Klaasen in the space of three balls.

Pat Cummins, on his IPL debut as captain, faced the final ball and needed four to tie the match but Harshit bowled a dot ball to trigger wild celebrations.

The big-hitting Russell steered Kolkata to 208-7 with his unbeaten 25-ball 64 and a 81-run stand with Rinku Singh after England's Phil Salt began the batting charge with his 54.

It was heartbreaking for Cummins, who took charge of Hyderabad after the franchise paid $2.5 million for the 30-year-old fast bowler.

Fellow Australian pace bowler Mitchell Starc broke the record in the same auction when Kolkata shelled out $2.98 million for the left-arm quick.

Starc endured a day to forget, however, getting hit for 53 runs off his four overs.

It was Russell who stole the thunder as he destroyed the Hyderabad bowling with seven sixes and three fours.

Hyderabad started strongly as Mayank Agarwal (32) and Abhishek Sharma (32) put on 60 for the opening wicket before Harshit broke through to send back Agarwal.

Starc created an early chance but wicketkeeper Salt spilled a catch to extend Sharma's stay, which was finally cut short by Russell's pace bowling.

Kolkata unleashed their spin force and a wicket each to Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine further dented Hyderabad's chase until Klaasen decided to unleash his power in a 58-ball stand off 16 ball with Ahmed.

Klaasen and Ahmed took Starc to the cleaners in a 26-run 19th over only for Harshit to turn an unlikely hero.

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