Andre Russell scored a blazing 48 runs off just 13 balls as Kolkata Knight Riders crushed five wickets from Royal Challengers Bangalore to climb to second place in the points table with three wins out of four matches. Russell fireworks of sixes helped KKR to achieve the target of 206.
On the other hand, in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL), RCB suffered its fifth consecutive loss. While Andre Russell with seven sixes and a boundary lifted the Bengaluru crowd off their feet, Shubman Gill scored the winning run as KKR with five balls to spare chased down the tough target.
Needing 66 runs off 24 balls, KKR was up against it before Russell arrived and smashed an unbeaten 48 to finish the job.
Russell’s brutal hit came after Virat Kohli (84 off 49) and AB de Villiers (63 off 32) recreated their “magic” with a pleasant 108-run stand to take RCB for three to 205.
The result means that KKR has now won three out of four of their games, while RCB has lost five in a row and is heading for another sorry season.
Russell Fireworks Of Sixes
KKR kept alive in the chase by opener Chris Lynn (43 of 31), Robbie Uthappa (33 of 25) and Nitish Rana (37 of 23) before Russell got the job done in death overs all by himself.
The cause of KKR also help by a pedestrian bowling effort from RCB pacers. RCB spinners Pawan Negi (2/21) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/24) bowled well and created a sharp turn, putting brakes on the KKR scoring rate.
Earlier on their entertaining stand, Kohli and de Villiers hammered the bowlers at will. RCB seemed to get close to 250 at one stage, but KKR did a good job of pulling things back on a batting beauty.
In addition to completing 8000 runs in T20 cricket, Kohli also overtook Suresh Raina during his sublime knock to become the leading run-getter in IPL history.
The RCB skipper hit some beautiful cover drives early on, with nine fours and two sixes in his innings. De Villiers, too, smashed five fours and four maximums in his element.
Kohli was finally out of Kuldeep Yadav in the 18th over as he hit the ball directly into the hands of the bowler. On Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Fergusson and Nitesh Rana he was particularly severe.
Before cutting loose, De Villiers played second fiddle to Kohli to produce some massive hits. In the last over, with the help of two boundaries and a six, Marcus Stoinis belted 18 runs off Prasidh, pushing the overall past 200 mark.
Parthiv Patel and Kohli desperately needed a good start in the tournament for the first time, stitching 64 runs in 7.5 overs for the first wicket. After scoring 25 off 24 balls with three limits to his credit, Patel was LBW to Nitesh Rana.