IPL 8: Russell powers KKR home by 4 wickets against KXIPPune: Andre Russell's spectacular all-round performance helped defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed Kings XI Punjab by 4 wickets, in an IPL cricket match here on Saturday.The Jamaican all-rounder hit a blistering 66 from 36
The Jamaican all-rounder hit a blistering 66 from 36 balls after his KKR were reeling at 60 for five as KKR cantered to victory target of 156 in 17.5 overs from a near losing position.
It was a day to remember for Russell as he first took 2/39 while bowling apart from couple of smart catches during KXIP innings.
With the willow, he belted nine boundaries and two sixes adding 95 runs in 9.2 overs for the sixth wicket with Yusuf Pathan (28 no) to take his team home which looked unlikely after the first eight overs when half of the team was back in the dug-out.
Russell scored his 50 off 28 balls with eight boundaries and a six as he got a standing ovation from his teammates. When he was finally out, KKR had tied the scores. Piyush Chawla came in then and smashed a boundary to third man off Mitchell Johnson and took KKR home.
Defending a not so big total, KXIP bowlers needed to do well upfront and young Sandeep Sharma responded brilliantly with figures of 4/25 as polished off the top-order with some incisive swing bowling as they were reduced to 60 for five in 8 overs.
He got the ball to shape in consistently getting Robin Uthappa (13), Manish Pandey (12) and Ryan ten Doeschate (0) with incoming deliveries. Ten Doeschate was a bit unlucky as replay showed that he got an inside edge.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir, who has been pretty consistent so far got one which Sandeep slanted across and Wriddhiman Saha took an easy catch.
Saha however took a brilliant diving catch to cut short Suryakumar Yadav (23 off 10 balls)'s little cameo when he tried to steer a Thisara Perera delivery towards vacant third-man boundary.
Once they were down in the dumps at 60 for five, Russell came in and started to counter-attack at the bowlers which paid dividends. Surprisingly, it was Pathan (28*) at the other end, who was playing the second fiddle in their partnership as they took their team home with minimum fuss.