A superb all-round performance by Andre Russell, who hammered a 25-ball 64 and took 2-25, and a brilliant final over by Harshit Rana helped Kolkata Knight Riders halt a rampaging Heinrich Klassen (63 off 29 balls) and snatch a narrow four-run victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad off the final ball in a nerve-wracking encounter in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.

It was a last-ball finish to remember as Klassen dragged SRH from the verge of defeat to almost over the line before Rana took it away from them. From 60 off 18 balls, Klassen and Shahbaz Ahmed hammered 21 and 26 runs in the next two overs to make it 13 off six balls. They blazed 81 runs off the last five overs and set the pulse racing with their brilliant strokeplay.

Klassen hammered Rana for a six off the first delivery and with seven needed off five balls, conceded a single and sent back Shahbaz Ahmed, caught by Shreyas Iyer to pull things back for KKR. But it was still SRH's match to lose as Marco Jansen took a single and gave Klassen the strike to hammer a six-and-seal victory. Suyash Sharma pulled off a superb catch at short third to dismiss Klassen as Kolkata Knight Riders sealed a nerve-wracking victory. Rana finished with a haul of 3 for 33 in four overs.

SRH ended their 20 overs on 204/7 and fell short by four runs as they mounted a brilliant chase of KKR's 208/7 built on an unbeaten 64 off 25 balls by Andre Russell and 54 by Phil Salt after Pat Cummins had won the toss and asked KKR to bat first on a pitch that looks full of runs.

Chasing a mammoth target, Sunrisers Hyderabad made a good start with Mayank Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma raising 60 runs for the opening wicket partnership. SRH scored 65 runs in the Power-play for the loss of Agarwal as they started cautiously and reached 50 off 43 balls. Agarwal was the first to go, hitting a short delivery to Rinku Singh off Harshit Rana for 32 off 21 balls.

Abhishek Sharma too made 32 off 19 balls before he was caught by Varun Chakravarthy off Andre Russell. Rahul Tripathi (20 off 20), Aiden Markram (18 off 13) and Abdul Samad (15 off 11) got starts but could not convert them into big scores as Kolkata Knight Riders used the short ball well. In the field, they pulled off some good catches as they were reduced to 145/5 in the 17th over.

But Heinrich Klaasen struck a barrage of sixes and along with Shahbaz Ahmad launched an unlikely charge towards victory as SRH nearly pulled off the fourth-highest successful run chase in IPL history.

With 60 needed off the last three overs, Klaasen hammered two sixes off Varun Chakravarthy and Shjahbaz helped himself to one six as they scored 21 runs off the 18th over.

In the next over Klassen blasted two huge sixes off Mitchell Starc in the midweek region and a third over cover while Shahbaz swiped the Aussie pacer over deep backward square to blast 26 runs to leave SRH needing 13 runs off the last six balls.

Klaasen blasted a huge six off Harshit Rana off the first ball, but the bowler had the last laugh as he bowled a superb over to send back Shadab Ahmed and Klassen and seal a four-run victory for Kolkata Knight Riders.

Earlier, Russell struck a blazing half-century after Phil Salt had set the foundation with a 40-ball 54 to help the Kolkata Knight Riders reach 208/7 in 20 overs.

Phil Salt, who went unsold in the auction but came in as a replacement, struck three sixes off Marco Jansen in the third over but KKR lost three quick wickets to be 32/3 in the Power-play. Salt went on to complete a well-compiled 54 but Russell changed the complexion of the match with brilliant, clean power-hitting as he and Rinku Singh raised 77 runs off four overs as KKR scored the first double-century score of IPL 2024 to leave SRH a big chase on their hands.

After the seasoned Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away only three runs in the opening over for SRH, Salt waded into Marco Jansen, smashing him for three sixes in the second over before some balance was restored as Sunil Narine ran himself out off the final delivery of the over, going for a non-existent single.

Pat Cummins pressed T Natarajan into the attack, and he added to KKR's woes by claiming two wickets in his first over. Venkatesh Iyer stepped down to flick him for a four and then tried to drive on the up on a wide one and Jansen picked a fine catch.

A delivery later, KKR were down to 32/3 in the fourth over when Shreyas Iyer tried to loft a fullish delivery over the off-side and Cummins pouched a smart catch above his head to send his opposite number back.

Nitish Rana did not last long but Ramandeep Singh hammered a 17-ball 35, hitting four sixes and one four in his brief cameo. Pat Cummins got SRH back into the match when he had Ramandeep Singh chipping to cover where Markande took a fine diving catch to make it 105/5 in the 13th over.

Salt continued to hold the other end up and raced to his third half-century in IPL and first for KKR, off 38 balls, hitting three boundaries and as many maximums. However, he could not stay longer at the wicket as he tried to hit Markande into the crowd but the tall Jansen plucked a superb catch near the boundary rope to end his innings for 54 off 40 balls. KKR were 119/6 in the 14th over and staring down the barrel.

But their brilliant finishers Rinku Singh and Andre Russell had other ideas as they raised a blazing half-century partnership to help them to a big total. They added 81 runs for the seventh wicket partnership with Rinku contributing 23 off 15 balls and Russel hammering the remaining. They raised 77 runs off four overs to pull KKR to safety.

Russell slog-swept, swung over deep midwicket, and pumped over long-on Markande for three huge sixes in the 16th over and then hammered a six and a four off successive balls off Bhuvneshwar Kumar. A big six into the crowd off Natarajan and a boundary off Bhuvi helped him race to his first half-century for KKR off just 20 balls. He blasted seven sixes in all as they reached a big score, leaving SRH a mountain to climb to win the match.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 208/7 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 64 not out, Phil Salt 54, Ramandeep Singh 35; T. Natarajan 3-32, Mayank Markande 2-39) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 204/7 in 20 overs (Heinrich Klassen 63, Abhishek Sharma 32, Mayank Agarwal 32; Harshit Rana 3-33, Andre Russell 2-25) by four runs.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)