IPL: Russell's blitzkrieg helps KKR beat Sunrisers

IPL: Russell's blitzkrieg helps KKR beat Sunrisers

IPL: Russell's blitzkrieg helps KKR beat Sunrisers

David Warner was a bundle of nerves upon his Indian Premier League return but it did not show in Kolkata, where the suspended superstar blasted 85 to make an emphatic World Cup statement.

PREVIEW: Qualifier 2, IPL 2018 - Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 14 runs to qualify for the final of the IPL, despite fireworks from Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine at the top of the order in a chase of 175.

Kolkata keeper Dinesh Karthik put down a leg-side chance when Warner was on 68 but the Australian otherwise dictated terms until Robin Uthappa plucked an astonishing catch.

All eyes will be on Warner this Sunday, as the southpaw continues his return to cricket after being banned for a year after the ball tampering incident. Warner's opening partner Jonny Bairstow contributed 39. The pair made quick work of Kolkata's bowlers in the first 12 overs, with Warner leading the charge in an 118-run partnership. KKR needed 33 runs of 18 deliveries and the hard hitting Windies all-rounder first clobbered 18 runs in the 17 over bowled by Kaul.

He was given a one-year ban for his part in the scandal during a Test match against South Africa last March.

KKR will once again have to bank on their spinners in Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawala all likely to start. Though he was allowed to play the IPL, BCCI took another strict decision by not allowing him to play in the IPL past year.

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With 37 half centuries, Warner has overtaken former cricketer Gautam Gambhir with whom he had till now jointly held the record of the most number of 36 half-centuries.

His effort, however, went in vain as Andre Russell's blistering knock of 49 off just 19 balls helped Knight Riders pull off a thrilling win.

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"We are definitely better balanced than we were a year ago with much better fast bowling options and more quality depth in all departments". "It's not a long term injury, whether he plays, we will take a call tomorrow", Moody said on the eve of the match.

Kane Williamson, who led them to a runners-up finish in the Aussie's absence last season, will continue to captain Sunrisers, a team that is known for its depth and variation in bowling.

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