Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik won the toss in front of the packed Eden Gardens and asked Bhuneshwar Kumar captained Sunrisers Hyderabad to bat first.
The move looked to back- fire as Sunrisers got of to a fine start with David Warner staging superb comeback after a year. He hardly looked rusty and scored typical Warner innings 85 off 53 balls. And with IPL debutant England’s Jonny Bairstow ( 39) stuck a fine 118 run opening stand in 12 overs much to the frustration of the KKR bowlers. Dinesh Karthik looked sloppy behind the stumps and rotated his bowlers to get wickets . Sunil Narine had a rare off day.
Then a quick fire 40 by Vijay Shankar helped the Sunrisers reach a competitive total of 181 / 3 in 20 overs. For KKR Piyush Chawala took 1 / 23 ( 3 overs ) and Andrew Russell took 2 / 32 ( 3 overs)
Chasing stiff target , KKR lost dangerous opener to Chris Lynn to Shakib Al Hasan for 7. Then Robin Uthappa ( 35 ) and Nitish Rana ( 68 ) put KKR on track with valuable innings . Rana was brilliant with 68 off 47 balls and Uthappa 35 off 27 balls. KKR skipper Karthik flopped with the bat scoring only 2 runs.
With run- rate climbing steadily Andrew Russell played a stunning power packed innings to power the team to a thrilling win with 2 balls to spare. The power hitter went after the bowling in his typical fashion. His power forearms and biceps hit the ball the distance. His sensational 49 unbeaten runs of mere 19 balls with four towering sixes and four fours and timely cameo by young Shubman Gill 18 off 10 balls ( unbeaten) stunned the sunrisers.
Kolkata Knight Riders co- owner Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and actress Juhi Chawla were in the stands cheering their team and the duo heaved a sigh of relief as Russell pulled off a dramatic win. KKR reached 182 for 4 in 19.4 overs.
Moreover, Sunrisers skipper Bhuvneshwar ran out of ideas when Russell went after the bowling. He persisted with expensive Sandeep Sharma and did not bowl Vijay Shankar at all. It was a shocking decision .