IPL 2023: Harry Brook scores the first century of the season at Eden Gardens.

Harry Brook’s century and Aiden Markram’s fast fifty set the tone for Sunrisers Hyderabad’s 23-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens.

On Friday, Kolkata Knight Riders were defeated by Sunrisers Hyderabad by 23 runs in front of another sold-out crowd at Eden Gardens. The local crowd was left disappointed. The Sunrisers posted their second-highest score in IPL history, 228/4, thanks to a sensational performance by young Englishman Harry Brook, who blasted an unbeaten century off 55 balls. Despite valiant fifties from captain Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh, the KKR fell short on the day, scoring 205/7 in pursuit of the enormous target. It was the second victory for SRH this season.

Brookโ€™s run deluge

After three consecutive losses to start the season, Harry Brook was ridiculed online. However, he responded to his critics in grand fashion by scoring the first century of the IPL season. In the Powerplay, when Umesh Yadav and Lockie Ferguson were bowling, he scored his first 31 runs off just 11 deliveries by hitting boundaries and sixes off Umesh Yadav and Lockie Ferguson.

Then, just as it appeared that Brook was beginning to slow down as he approached fifty, he erupted in the 15th over and prevented KKR from mounting a comeback. Lockie Ferguson’s velocity on the ball enabled Brook to score 23 runs in an over and reapply pressure to KKR.

He reached his hundred with a strike rate of nearly 200, striking 12 sixes and three fours along the way, and demonstrated why the Hyderabad-based franchise shelled out Rs 13.25 crore at the 2023 mini-auction.

Did KKR miss a trick?

On the night, Brook’s strike rate against spin was 117, but against pace it increased to 253. Of the 100 runs he scored, 66 came off fast bowling (nine fours, three sixes, four dots) and 34 came off spin bowling (three fours, six dots).

At the conclusion of the inning, the batter admitted to broadcasters, “I’ve had a bit of trouble with spin, but I wanted to take advantage of the Powerplay. Therefore, during the middle overs, I desired to rotate the strike and allow the other guys to bat.”

Markram plays his part

Aiden Markram asserted his dominance by leading from the front and striking a fifty off of 25 deliveries. Coming in at number four, he never allowed the pressure to affect him and continued to discover openings at will. Young leg-spinner Suyash Sharma had a forgettable day, conceding 11 runs per over. Markram was especially lethal against him, as he averaged 11 runs per over. After his departure, Abhishek Sharma and Heinrich Klaasen played two delightful cameos to push the total beyond 200.

Upon winning the toss, KKR’s captain Nitish Rana stated that there was mist at Eden Gardens. But in pursuit of 229, the Knights were rattled immediately by the SRH seamers. South African medium pacer Marco Jansen claimed two wickets in two balls, those of Venkatesh Iyer and Sunil Narine.

Rana counter-attacks

KKR were three wickets down for just 20 runs, and it appeared the night could turn into a nightmare for them as their fragile top order was once again exposed.

However, their captain Rana blasted 28 runs off Umran Malik’s first over to inspire a comeback. Even though wickets fell at the other end, Rana’s clean hitting kept KKR in the pursuit during the massive chase. Five fours and six sixes were included in his 48-ball 75-run innings. Last game’s miracle hero Rinku Singh was not on strike with 32 required in the final over, and despite his unbeaten 58 off 31, KKR was unable to win.

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