Amazing Russell inspires KKR to exciting win
BENGALURU, India (CMC):
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell smashed another breathtaking cameo to surpass 200 runs in just four innings this season, as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) moved into second place in the Indian Premier League standings, with a convincing five-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore here yesterday.
In pursuit of a daunting 206 for victory at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, KKR made light work of their target in the end with a daring run chase, getting home with five balls to spare to win for the third time in four outings.
The audacious Russell spearheaded the effort, uncorking a 13-ball unbeaten 48 while Australian opener Chris Lynn got 43 and Nitish Rana 37.
Batting at number six, Russell entered with the contest in the balance at 139 for four in the 16th over, and lost captain Dinesh Karthik soon afterwards for 19, with 53 runs required from 18 deliveries.
But the Jamaican clobbered a four and seven giant sixes, dominating an unbroken sixth-wicket stand with Shuban Gill (three not out) to put KKR over the line.
The game was won in the penultimate over, however, when Russell got stuck in to seamer Tim Southee, belting the New Zealander for four giant sixes and a four, in an over which leaked 29 runs.
Russell has now scored 207 runs at an average of 103.
West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine had earlier fallen cheaply for 10 at the top of the order with the score on 28 for one in the second over, before Lynn and Robin Uthappa (33) put on 65 for the second wicket to steady the innings.
Earlier, the peerless Virat Kohli top-scored with 84 from 49 balls, while South African AB de Villiers stroked 63 from 32 balls as RCB tallied 205 for three off their 20 overs, after being sent in.
Kohli put on 64 for the first wicket with Parthiv Patel (25) and a further 108 for the second wicket with de Villiers.
West Indies left-hander Shimron Hetmyer, with 15 runs from four innings, was dropped for the encounter.