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Knights fall short despite a dramatic Russell-Rana show

Andre Russell and Nitish Rana heroics couldn't save Kolkata Knight Riders as their mid-season slump continued after suffering a 10 run defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore at Eden Gardens last night. 

The 118 runs partnership between Russell & Rana took KKR from 79 for 4 in 11.5 overs to 197 for 5. After giving a tough fight that went right till the end, KKR faced their fourth loss in a row and three at Eden Gardens.

Earlier, Dinesh Karthik won the toss and chose to field first. Skipper DK put an end to the speculation around Russell’s fitness and went with an unchanged playing eleven that lost to CSK at Eden Gardens.

Henrich Klaasen came in for unwell AB de Villiers and Dale Styen made his return for RCB after 9 years.

KKR had a great start with the ball. Narine gave us the first breakthrough with the wicket of Parthiv Patel (11) in the fourth over. After five overs RCB were 30 for 1. Akshdeep Nath (13) was the second man to go as he became Andre Russell's 50th victim in IPL for KKR.

Moeen Ali and Virat Kohli took their time in the middle and kept the scorecard ticking. The pair added 62 runs in 6 overs (10-15 overs) and took the total to 122 for 2 after 15 overs.

Kuldeep Yadav's night went from bad to worse as he conceded 27 runs in his last over and finished his quota of four overs at the cost of 59 runs. Moeen played a blistering knock of 66 from 28 balls and got dismissed on the last ball of Kuldeep's spell with the damage already done.

Virat Kohli (100) wasn't done yet and completed his fifth century of IPL before being dismissed in the last ball of the innings with RCB finishing at 213/4 from their 20 overs.

KKR didn't have a good start in their chase either. Chris Lynn (1) got out in the first over. Narine (18) hit a few boundaries before mistiming a pull off Saini's bowling. Shubman (9) who was sent up the order became Steyn's second victim. Rana and Uthappa (9) took their time in the middle before later became the fourth casualty for the home side. 

After 12 overs score was 81 for 4. KKR needed another 133 runs to win with the required run rate almost 17 runs per over.

Once again, Russell took charge of the run chase right from the word go. Along with Rana, the duo accelerated and gave RCB a run for their money by smacking it all over Eden. 

Dre Russ (65 from 25 balls) and Rana (85* from 46 balls) took the fight till the very end by attacking all bowlers and giving the Eden faithful hope but it was too much to chase as we fell short by 10 runs.

“It's a sweet and sour feeling after this match. I just bat one way, and that's positive. We were two hits away from getting over the line.” Andre Russell nearly took KKR over the line but couldn’t hide his emotions in the post match press conference.

KKR will play Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on Sunday, April 21st 2019. The four losses have definitely hurt our position in the points table but it's only a matter of a win and we'll be back on track. 

Brief Score:
RCB: 213 for 4 in 20 Overs (Kohli 100, Ali 66, Russell 1/17)

KKR: 203 for 5 in 20 Overs (Rana 85*, Russell 65, Steyn 2/40)