IPL 2024: Kolkata clinch thrilling win against Hyderabad despite Klaasen's heroics

Hosts win by four runs at Eden Gardens after Harshit Rana holds his nerve in final over

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Sunrisers Hyderabad's Heinrich Klaasen almost pulled off a remarkable victory for his side before young Kolkata Knight Riders bowler Harshit Rana had the last word in a thriller at Eden Gardens on Saturday.

South African Klaasen smashed 63 runs off 29 balls, including eight sixes, to drag his side back into the contest as they chased 209 for victory.

He went into the final over with his side needing just 13 runs and hammered Rana's first ball for six over square leg but the 22-year-old seamer followed up by conceding just two singles and a dot ball off his next five deliveries.

He also took the wickets of 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 as the hosts won by four runs.

West India Andre Russell also put on a superb show for Kolkata as he steered them 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 balls with Ahmed.

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

Kolkata skipper Iyer said after the game: “From the 17th over I had butterflies in my stomach and to be honest, in the last over, I thought anything can happen. But I had that belief in Harshit Rana, even though he’s not the most experienced bowler, but I knew that something would happen and this is the time when he can become a hero.

”He was a bit nervous when he was coming on to bowl but I looked him in the eyes and said ‘this is your moment buddy’, and even if we lose it’s fine, you just back yourself and execute the plans and the rest is history.”

Ramandeep Singh, who made 35 off 17 balls for the hosts, said: “I was really enjoying my time in the middle. I was just trying to play with intent.

“The message from the dressing room in the final over against Klaasen was to bowl at pace off and that worked pretty well.”

And Hyderabad skipper Cummings said: “Close game in the end. Wonderful game of cricket – unfortunately it didn’t go our way. I thought for the most part, really happy with how we bowled. Obviously at the end Andre Russell did what Dre Russ does, he’s pretty hard to contain but overall thought we did a pretty good job. It’s the toughest job in cricket bowling to someone like Andre.

“Amazing job by Heinrich Klaasen and Shahbaz to get us back into the game and to get us into that position, who would have thought we’d get that close, but unfortunately just a little bit too much to get.”

Updated: March 23, 2024, 7:00 PM