Andre Russell once again showed what a brutal hitter of a cricket ball he is and the X- facor for the Kolkata Knight Riders in this season of the IPL. It was yet another Russell power that helped the KKR finally end their losing streak of six matches. KKR beat Mumbai Indians in high scoring thriller at Eden Gardens, Kolkata by 34 runs.
The KKR win brought smiles on team co- owners Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla who were in the stands cheering for their side.
Kolkata Knight Riders batsmen fired on all cylinders to post the season’s highest total, 232 for two, after sensational knocks from Shubman Gill (75 off 45) and Andre Russell (80 not out off 40).
Earlier, KKR got off to a fiery start with Shubman Gill (76) and Chris Lynn (54) putting on a 96-run opening stand, their highest this season.
Gill smashed six fours and four sixes en route to his second half-century of the season and forged a crucial stand with Russell. The duo shared 62 runs from 35 balls of which Gill had a share of 34, while Russell scored 24.
Russell hammered six fours and eight sixes including one off the last ball after he denied a couple of singles to skipper Dinesh Karthik in the last over as KKR creamed 75 runs from the last five overs and scored 135 in the final 10.
Fielding let down Mumbai Indians big time with both Lynn and Russell dropped early in their innings by Kieron Pollard and Evin Lewis respectively.
Mumbai bowlers were taken to the cleaners. Lasith Malinga 0/ 48 ( 4 overs) Krunal Pandya 0/ 27 ( 3 overs), Jasprit Bumrah 0/ 44 ( 4 overs) , Rahul Chahar 1/ 54 ( 4 overs) , Hardik Pandya 1/ 31 ( 3 overs) , Barinder Sran 0/ 27 ( 2 overs)
While making the big chase , Mumbai slumped to a 58 for four, Mumbai were down and out. But all- rounder Hardik Pandya with a breathtaking 91 off 34 balls stunned the crowd and dared to pull off an upset.
Pandya’s dismissal in the 18th over sealed the game in KKR’s favour as Mumbai ended on 198 for seven. His power knock comprised nine sixes and six fours.
Barring Hardik the Mumbai batting flopped . Quinton De Kock ( 0), Skipper Rohit Sharma ( 12) , Evin Lewis ( 15), Suryakumar Yadav ( 26) , Kieron Pollard ( 20) , Krunal Pandya ( 24).
KKR bowling for once stood up . Sunil Narine 2/ 44 ( 4 overs) , Harry Gurney 2/ 37 ( 4 overs), , Andre Russell 2/ 25 ( 4 overs), Piyush Chawla was hammered 1/ 57 ( 4 overs)