Andre Russell is on a roller coaster ride. By scoring a dramatic unbeaten 49 and later picking up two important wickets he clinched the victory for Kolkata Knight Riders against Kings XI Punjab, yesterday at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Winning the toss Punjab sent KKR to bat with no idea of what would be followed on.
Sunil Narine (24 off 9) and Nitish Rana (63 off 34) laid the platform for KKR initially. On the other hand, Robin Uthappa played the role of an anchor and helped in building a good team total. He remained not out at 67 off 50 balls while Andre Russell came and took all the limelight with another Russell storm. Russell blasted a 48 off 17 balls that consisted of three boundaries and 5 over boundaries. They scored a massive 218 for the loss of four wickets. The debutant bowler from Punjab camp, Varun Chakravarthy had a tough time (3-25-1-11.67).
An Important Flashback
Russell was batting at three and waiting to get his momentum when a perfect Yorker by Mohammed Shami bowled him out. Russell was on his way to pavilion and there was pin-drop silence at the ground. The umpire called Russell back declaring him not out as Shami delivered a ‘no ball’. But the ‘no ball’ wasn’t due to Shami’s overstepping, it was for having three fielders inside the ring. This saved Russell and KKR. However, Punjab fans will probably never be able to forgive the skipper, Ravichandran Ashwin.
KL Rahul once again disappointed and score just one run off five balls. Post Rahul’s wicket Punjab kept losing the top order batsmen at regular intervals with Chris Gayle and Sarfaraz Khan scoring 20 and 13 respectively. They had a small partnership of 28 which didn’t help much. Then Mayank Agarwal (58 of 34) and David Miller (59 off 40) gave some hope to the Punjab team. From 60 for 3 they took the team total to 134-4. It was for them that an almost unattainable score seemed to be reachable by Kings XI at a certain point of time. Mandeep Singh did add a quick 33 off 15 but nothing magical happened to the team. Punjab could finally manage to score 190 for four at the end of 20th over. Andre Russell was instrumental during this innings to as he picked up two crucial wickets of Chris Gayle and Sarfaraz Khan.